Actress Sarah Jessica Parker and her family announced the tragic death of her stepfather, Paul Giffin Forste, at the age of 76 on Thursday, September 29. News of his passing came after the actress missed the New York City Ballet’s 10th Annual Fall Fashion Gala on Wednesday, September 28.

“Our family is sad to announce that after an unexpected and rapid illness, Paul Giffin Forste passed away yesterday at age 76,” the family said in a statement to Closer. “In his last moments, he was surrounded with the love and gratitude of his adored wife, Barbara, of 54 years, and children, including Sarah Jessica Parker.”

The statement continued, “Paul will be remembered with the spirit of loving kindness which was his faith, his special delight in his 13 grandchildren and his sustained belief in making the world a more charitable, tolerant, and beautiful place for all.”

Sarah was set to be honored at the ballet gala held at David H. Koch Theater in Lincoln Center in New York City, where she resides with her family. She ended up missing the event to tend to a “sudden devastating family situation,” an attendee of the gala told Page Six.

Sarah Jessica Parker's Twin Daughters: Photos Over the Years
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The Emmy winner was born in 1965 to her parents, Barbara, a former teacher, and Stephen Parker, a journalist. They welcomed four children together during their marriage. After her parents divorced, Sarah’s mom went on to marry Paul and welcomed four children with him. Sarah grew up in Ohio and moved to New York with her family as a child before launching her acting career in the ’70s.

Several of her siblings also ventured into the world of acting along with her and were supportive when she landed on Broadway. Over the course of her career that has spanned more than four decades, one thing Sarah has always stressed is the importance of family and teaching life lessons to her kids that she learned as a child.

“I think that if I had been raised a child of privilege, I wouldn’t be the working person I am today,” she told Parade in May 2008. “I have a great appreciation for work. I think it’s incumbent on my husband and me to really stress and to show James Wilkie by example what it means to owe your community something and that he is not entitled to the benefits of our hard work.”