‘Modern Family’ And ‘WALL-E’ Actor Fred Willard Has Died At The Age Of 86

Fred Willard

Prolific comedy actor Fred Willard, whose career in films and on television spanned more than five decades, has passed away at the age of 86.

His death was confirmed by daughter Hope, who wrote in a statement:

“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.”

Fred Willard was the star of numerous Christopher Guest films, including This Is Spinal Tap, Waiting For Guffman, Best In Show and A Mighty Wind.

More recently, he appeared in a recurring guest role in Modern Family, and starred alongside Steve Carell in the Netflix comedy Space Force, which debuts on May 29.

His many other credits include roles in the two Anchorman movies, and WALL-E, in which he played the first live action character in a Pixar film.

Tributes have flowed from the actor, including one from Jamie Lee Curtis, who wrote on Instagram:

“A fond farewell to Mr. Fred Willard. How lucky we all are that we got to witness his great gifts. Thanks for the deep belly laughs. You are now with Mary. Home safe.”

Fred Willard was also a frequent guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and the host shared a video of what would sadly turn out to be his final appearance on the show:

Willard’s wife Mary passed away in 2018. RIP.