Treat Williams, the actor best known for his role in 'Hair,' died in a motorcycle accident at the age of 71

VERMONT — Actor Treat Williams has died aged 71 after being in a motorcycle accident, according to his agent.

The accident happened just before 5pm Monday on Vermont Route 30 just north of Morse Hill Road in Dorset, Vermont.

State police said the crash involved a Honda Element and a 1986 Honda motorcycle driven by Williams.

They said the SUV driven by 35-year-old Ryan Koss attempted to turn left into the parking lot. Preliminary investigations showed the Element stopped, signaled a left, then turned into the motorcycle's path.

Police said Williams was unable to avoid the crash and was thrown from his motorcycle. He suffered critical injuries and was airlifted to the Albany Medical Center in Albany, New York, where he was pronounced dead.

“Sadly, Treat was killed in a motorcycle accident tonight. It's a tragedy,” said Treat's agent, Barry McPherson.

Koss was examined at the scene for minor injuries and was not taken to hospital.

Born Richard Treat Williams in Rowayton, Connecticut, he studied theater in college and moved to New York shortly after graduating. There, he landed a stunt double for John Travolta in “Grease” and later replaced him as Danny Zuko.

Williams' versatile screen career included an early role in director Milos Forman's adaptation of the musical “Hair” in 1979, followed by a vehicle starring role with another A-list director, Sidney Lumet, in the top-secret crime drama “Prince of the City” two years later.

While Williams seemed destined to become a huge star, his next few films fell short of that initial promise, though he continued to work steadily, including in a TV remake of “A Streetcar Named Desire” and an additional TV film in which he played boxer Jack. Dempsey and FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover.

In the 90s, the actor shifted to different roles, playing the villain in the pulp comic adaptation of “The Phantom” and super agent Michael Ovitz in the HBO film based on the book “The Late Shift,” about “The Tonight Show” battle of succession. between Jay Leno and David Letterman. He earned a Primetime Emmy nomination for the role.

Later in the decade, Williams enjoyed leading action star status in the 1998 B-movie “Deep Rising”, about a killer sea monster, which starred opposite Famke Janssen, Wes Studi and Djimon Hounsou.

Williams then found new success in television, starring in the CW series “Everwood” for four seasons in the aughts and a more recent stint on “Chicago Fire.” He was also part of the core cast of “Chesapeake Shores,” appearing in 53 episodes between 2016 and 2022. He also co-starred last year in the HBO miniseries “We Own This City,” a chronicle of producer David Simon's corruption and internal politics in the Baltimore police department.

The late actor is survived by wife Pam Van Sant and their two children.

Investigation into this accident is still in its early stages.

Police are asking anyone who witnessed or has information about the crash to contact Vermont State Police Shaftsbury Barracks at 802-442-5421 or leave an anonymous tip online at

CNN contributed to this report.