Fred Willard, a legendary actor, writer, and comedian, has passed away on Friday at the age of 86.
As of recent, Willard is popular with audiences for playing Phil’s dad, Frank, on Modern Family. However, he has a long history in Hollywood, including a lengthy and creatively productive relationship with mockumentary master Christopher Guest.
His film and TV career captured an unimaginably wide cross-section of entertainment from the past 60 years.
Willard played diverse roled including the first Austin Powers, Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle, and Anchorman. He even loaned his voice to WALL-E.
On TV, he was on The Bob Newhart Show, Laverne & Shirley, Married… With Children, Family Matters, Roseanne, Murphy Brown, Mad About You, The Simpsons, and Modern Family (among many others).
Up until the end, Willard was doing what he loved – acting. He will next appear in a recurring role on Netflix’s upcoming series Space Force, from Steve Carell and Greg Daniels (of The Office and Parks and Recreation fame).
Upon his death being confirmed, a large community of friends, fans, and colleagues stepped up swiftly to pay tribute to Willard on social media.
Fred Willard was the funniest person that I’ve ever worked with. He was a sweet, wonderful man.
— Steve Carell (@SteveCarell) May 16, 2020
How lucky that we all got to enjoy Fred Willard’s gifts. He is with his missed Mary now. Thanks for the deep belly laughs Mr. Willard. Best in Show (7/11) Movie CLIP – Judging the Hounds (2000) HD https://t.co/wPrbk9VjWI via @YouTube
— Jamie Lee Curtis (@jamieleecurtis) May 16, 2020
Gutted. His immense talent and kindness will never be forgotten. We love you Fred Willard. Thank you for the decades of laughter.
— christina applegate (@1capplegate) May 16, 2020
Fred Willard could not have been funnier. He was pure joy. And the sweetest person you could ever meet. https://t.co/JoLy6PVd9d
— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) May 16, 2020
Just learned of Fred Willard’s passing. Just about the funniest human ever to walk the planet. An amazing talent, in telekinetic contact with the very wellspring of comedy.
— Harry Shearer (@theharryshearer) May 16, 2020
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