Fred Willard, actor and comedian known for his appearances in “Modern Family” and “Everybody Loves Raymond”, has died. He was 86.
Fred Willard died on Friday night at his home in Los Angeles of natural causes. Willard’s daughter, Hope Mulbarger, said the actor died “very peacefully”, reports variety.com.
“It is with a heavy heart that I share the news my father passed away very peacefully last night at the fantastic age of 86 years old. He kept moving, working and making us happy until the very end. We loved him so very much! We will miss him forever,” his daughter said.
Fred Willard has a role in the upcoming Netflix comedy series “Space Force” opposite Steve Carell. Willard was married for 50 years to Mary Willard. She died in 2018 at the age of 71.
After getting his start in sketch comedy, Fred Willard went on to appear in many movies and television series for decades, almost always in small but memorable roles.
Fred Willard was the funniest person that I've ever worked with. He was a sweet, wonderful man.
— Steve Carell (@SteveCarell) May 16, 2020
And in the midst of sadness I say goodbye to two wonderful comedians and actors who made me forget about the bullshit for awhile. So long Fred Willard and Jerry Stiller. Am thankful I can always see your work.
— Lewis Black (@TheLewisBlack) May 17, 2020
Was always in awe of Fred Willard. So quick and hilarious. He made it all look so natural and easy. Every second he’s on the screen, he’s brilliant and you can’t wait to see him again. He will be missed. Saw this story and it made me smile wide. https://t.co/KeH9xwdrTZ
— Ben Schwartz (@rejectedjokes) May 17, 2020
Willard was nominated four times for Emmy Awards, three of them for his role of Hank on “Everybody Loves Raymond” and the fourth in 2010 for his recurring role as Frank Dunphy, the father of Ty Burrell’s Phil Dunphy, on “Modern Family“. Earlier this year, Willard’s character got a loving sendoff in the final season of “Modern Family” with an episode that revealed his death.
Willard’s other credits include projects as “Anchorman”, “WALL-E” and “The Bold and the Beautiful”.