Fred Willard, ‘Best in Show’ and 'Modern Family' Actor, Dead at 86

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Fred Willard, the actor known for his roles in Best In Show and Modern Family, has died. He was 86.

The actor's daughter, Hope Mulbarger, confirmed Willard's death on Twitter. ET has reached out to Willard's rep for comment.

“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," she wrote. "He kept moving, working and making us happy until the very end.We loved him so very much! We will miss him forever." The actor's rep, Glenn Schwartz, also confirmed to Rolling Stone that he died from natural causes.

Jamie Lee Curtis first tweeted the news, writing, "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."

With a career spanning 50 years and more than 300 credits to his name, Willard starred in movies like A Mighty Wind, Anchorman, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle and How High, among others.

His TV credits are numerous, including Everybody Loves Raymond, Wizards of Waverly Place,Pushing Daisies, The Drew Carey Show, That '70s Show, Ally McBeal, Mad About You, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Roseanne, Saved By the Bell: The New Class and many more.

He also starred in a handful of Christopher Guest mockumentaries, including This Is Spinal Tap, Waiting for Guffman and Best In Show.

Willard was also nominated for four Emmy Awards; three for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his role as Hank MacDougall in Everybody Loves Raymond, and one in the same category for portraying Frank Dunphy in Modern Family.

He will be seen in his final project, the upcoming HBO series, Space Force, premiering May 29. The series also co-stars Steve Carell, who expressed his condolences on Twitter.

"Fred Willard was the funniest person that I've ever worked with. He was a sweet, wonderful man," the actor tweeted.

 

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