Fred Willard Earns Posthumous Emmy Nomination for 'Modern Family'
By Jennifer Drysdale
Two months after his death, Fred Willard has earned his fifth Emmy nomination.
The late actor and comedian scored a posthumous nod for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his role as Frank Dunphy -- the father of Ty Burrell's Phil Dunphy -- on Modern Family's final season. Willard was previously nominated for the same role in 2010, and scored three consecutive nominations in the same category from 2003-05 for his role as Frank on Everybody Loves Raymond.
"Hard to think of anyone more associated with pure joyous comedy than @Fred_Willard," shared Modern Family creator Steve Levitan on Twitter. "Hard to think of anyone nicer and it’s especially hard to think that he’s gone. #RIPFredWillard."
After its impressive 11-season run, Modern Family was snubbed from the major categories for its final season, but, in addition to Willard's nomination, scored nods for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series for Gail Manscuso for their "Finale Part 2," and Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) and Animation.
Modern Family won a total of 22 Emmy awards for its first 10 seasons, from 75 nominations. It won Outstanding Comedy Series five times, for its first five seasons. The series has also taken home Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series four times, twice each for Eric Stonestreet and Ty Burrell; Julie Bowen has won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series twice.
The comedy wrapped up with an hour-long documentary retrospective, followed by their two-part finale episode on April 8, which saw the family reminiscing about fond memories and looking forward to new normals as they all entered uncharted new chapters of their lives.
In a March interview with ET, Sofia Vergara opened up about how she and the rest of the Pritchett-Delgado-Dunphy-Tucker family said goodbye to the show.
"Everybody was like, you know, either in a bad mood or we were, like, super sad crying," she recalled. "It was about the family we created for 11 years, and I'm never gonna see them again like that. Some are people that are never gonna see again in my life, you know, crew members that we saw every day for 11 years. So that's the sad part, the separation from those people."
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The 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will be broadcast by ABC on Sept. 20.