Movies & TV / News

Comedian, Actor Fred Willard Dead At 86

May 16, 2020 | Posted by Joseph Lee
Fred Willard Modern Family

In the same week the world of comedy lost Jerry Stiller, another great has left us. The Hollywood Reporter brings word that Fred Willard, best known today for his role as Phil’s dad Frank on Modern Family, has passed away at the age of 86. He died of natural causes in Los Angeles.

In a statement, his daughter Hope said: “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.

While younger audiences will remember him for Modern Family, Willard has been actively working in comedy, stage and screen since 1959. He spent time at the Second City in Chicago and formed the improv comedy group Ace Trucking Company with Michael Mislove and Bill Saluga, which included appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. He started to become more famous thanks to roles in Fernwood 2 Night, Real People and DC Follies.

He also played Scott, the romantic partner of Leon (Martin Mull) in Roseanne, and made appearances in films like Roxanne, Best in Show, This Is Spinal Tap, Anchorman and WALL-E. His TV appearances included a recurring role in Everybody Loves Raymond, along with voicing characters in animated shows like Dexter’s Laboratory and The Simpsons. He was most recently cast in Netflix’s Space Force series, which will premiere on May 29 and marks his final performance of any kind.

411 would like to give our condolences to his family, friends and fans.

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Fred Willard, Joseph Lee