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Fred Willard (American comedian); Biography, Age, Education, Career, Family, Death, Tributes

American comedian Fred Willard dead at 86 years

Fred Willard was an American comedian, actor, and writer best known for his roles in This Is Spinal Tap a mockumentary created by Robe Reiner. The Christopher Guess documentaries Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, For your Consideration, and Mascots. Fred Willard died on May 15, 2020, at the age of 86 years.

Fred Willard Biography

Fred was born in Cleveland, Ohio. His mother was Ruth Weinman and she was a housewife. His father died when he was 12 years old in 1951. He was raised in Shaker Heights, Ohio.

Fred Willard Age 

Fred Willard was born on 18th September 1939. At the time of his death, he was 86 years old.

Fred Willard Education 

Fred graduated from the Kentucky Military Institute in 1951 and Virginia Military Institute in 1955. He also served in the United States Army and was stationed in Germany.

Fred Willard Career

Fred Willard is a four-time Emmy nominated actor who began his career in the 1950s after moving to New York. Willard will be remembered for his roles in “Best in Show” “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “Modern Family” and he will specifically be remembered for the impact that he had on comedy.

He also had an Outstanding Special Guest Performance on The Bold and the Beautiful in 2015 where he also nabbed a Daytime Emmy Award. His film resume includes starring roles in the Anchorman movies, the voice of Shelby Forthright in Wall-E and Austin powers: The Spy Who shagged me.

Fred Willard Family

Fred Willard married Mary Lovell in 1968. Together they have a daughter Hope Mulbarger. Fred’s wife Mary Willard died in 2018 at the age of 71 and she was involved in the entertainment industry just like Fred working as a playwright, TV writer, and comedian. Their love went way back as they were teenage sweethearts and they were together for five decades by the time of Mary’s passing. Fred Willard also has a grandson Freddie born in 1997.

Fred Willard Death

Willard died on May 15, 2020, at the age of 86, of natural cause at his home. The news was confirmed by the actor’s only child, Hope Willard in a tweet;

“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. He kept moving, working, and making us happy until the very end. We loved him so very much! We will miss him forever.”

Willard’s representative Glenn Shwartz also said that the cause of death was natural causes.

Fred Willards Tributes 

After the passing of Fred, many actors including those he co-starred in various films passed their tributes. Jamie Lee Curtis wrote on twitter;

“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. Best in show (7/11) Movie CLIP -Judging the Hounds (2000)”

After the shooting of Modern Family, where Willard played the role of Frank Dunphy, the father of lead character Phil Dunphy, played by actor Ty Burrell. Willard appeared in 14 episodes between 2009 and 2019, and when his fictional character passed away on the long-running FOX series, his real-life frail appearance caused fans to worry.

After his wife died, in 2019, Willard was never the same, “Mary was Fred’s everything,” a friend once said, “He’s been a broken man since her death. He told friends, ‘I don’t know how I can go on without her.’

Eric Stonestreet also sent his tributes saying,

“It was a privilege to have the great Fred Willard know my name. Rest in Peace Fred. You were funny in your bones.”

Another tribute from Jeff Ross read;

“Nobody funnier than #FredWillard. And when he happened to be in an audience, nobody laughed harder. Just saw him before quarantine & already miss him. He was my biggest fan and I am his. Fred & Mary were so kind to me. Sending a big virtual hug to his family, friends, and fans.


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