Comedic actor and improv artist Fred Willard died May 15, 2020 as a result of natural causes at the age of 86.
He was rarely a leading actor but was kept very busy over his career of more than 50 years with appearances in over 300 film and television productions.

The upcoming series “Space Force” where Willard played the role of Fred Naird was in post production at the time of his death.

After making his debut in an episode of “Pistols ‘n’ Petticoats”, Willards hundreds of roles include “Get Smart”, “Love, American Style”, “Laverne and Shirley”, “Silver Streak”, “Forever Fernwood”, “America 2-Night”, “Salem’s Lot”, “Mama’s Family”, “This is Spinal Tap”, “The Love Boat”, “Fame”, “Murder, She Wrote”, “Friends”, “Roseanne”, “The Simpsons”, “Mad About You”, the Mission Commander in “Austin Powers:  The Spy Who Shagged Me”, “The Legend of Tarzan”, “Family Guy”, “Saturday Night Live”, “Everybody Loves Raymond”, an episode of “Stargate SG-1”, “King of the Hill”, “WALL-E”, “Hot in Cleveland”, seven episodes of “The Bold and the Beautiful”, and 14 episodes of “Modern Family” as Frank Dumphy,

As himself, Willard made nearly 200 appearances on variety shows, late night talk shows, game shows, comedy shows, award shows, documentaries, “The Bachelor”, and even a few sports related shows.

Before making his television debut in 1966, Willard worked as an improv sketch artists including forming the sketch comedy group the Ace Trucking Company.

He was born September 18, 1933 in Shaker Heights, Ohio.

When not acting, Willard could be found working with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, City of Hope, and Actors and Others for Animals.

Predeceased by his wife Mary, Willard’s survivors include his daughter Hope and grandson Freddie.

 

 

Feature photo credit: By Bridget Laudien – Wikipedia:Contact us/Photo submission, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=43656938