It’s a sad day for the world of comedy as we report the news of the passing away of Fred Willard. He was 86. His passing away was confirmed by his daughter Hope Mulbarger in a statement released by Rolling Stone. The statement read that her father passed away peacefully last night at the age of 86. She remarked how he kept moving, working and making everyone laugh until the very end. And concluded the statement by saying that their family loved him very much and that they will miss him forever.
Tributes came pouring in, with his rep hailing the four-time Emmy nominee’s unique charm as one of the reasons he went on to become one of the greatest comic actors of our generation. The tribute further said how Willard was a master of sketch comedy. And that his incredible comic timing and improvisational prowess powered his career on stage, the big screen and television shows.
A Comedy Legend
Willard’s career spanned more than 50 years with over a hundred appearances. His most memorable appearances included roles in A Mighty Wind and Best In Show by Christopher Guest. By and far, his ability to deliver a killer punchline whilst also being gentle as can be.
His loss will be felt throughout the whole of Hollywood. Ed Begley Jr., who was Willard’s co-star in Christopher Guest’s films lamented his passing as a “deep and unabiding loss.” He went on to say how it will take time for him to adjust to the loss of his friend. It’s certainly a moving portrait of a man with whom Begley Jr. spent countless hours on stage and on screen.
Willard’s frequent co-star Bob Balaban called the actor as the kindest and gentlest people he had the fortune of working with.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Fred Willard’s family and friends in wake of their loss.