Legendary Comic Actor Fred Willard Dead at 86


Actor Fred Willard has died at the age of 86, according to his family.

A large community of friends, fans, and colleagues stepped up swiftly to pay tribute to Willard on social media in the hours after his death, attributed to natural causes, was confirmed. He kept moving, working and making us happy until the very end.We loved him so very much! "We loved him so very much!" his daughter Hope told People.

Over an acting career that spanned over 50 years, Willard popped up in a variety of settings- from sitcoms like "Modern Family" to reality TV shows slike "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette", game shows, commercials and even on the soap opera "The Bold and the attractive".

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The famed comic was best known for his roles in "Best In Show", "Fernwood 2 Night" "Anchorman" and "Everybody Loves Raymond".

"Fred Willard could not have been funnier. We were so lucky to know Fred Willard and will miss his many visits", talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel wrote. "Thanks for the deep belly laughs Mr. Willard", actress Jamie Lee Curtis tweeted. His work included comedies like "A Mighty Win" and "Waiting for Guffman", as well as off-Broadway productions including Jules Feiffer's "Little Murders", Dan Greenburg's "Arf and the Great Airplane Snatch", and Mary Willard's "Elvis and Juliet". You are now with Mary. "And the sweetest person you could ever meet". His fourth and final nomination came for Modern Family in 2010.

Upon hearing the news of Willard's death, his fellow colleagues and former co-stars shared their heartache. He also starred alongside Steve Carell in the upcoming Netflix series Space Force, which will begin streaming on May 29. He is survived by his daughter, Hope and one grandson.