Modern Family and This Is Spinal Tap star Fred Willard died from a heart attack, death certificate reveals
Modern Family and This Is Spinal Tap star Fred Willard died from a heart attack, it has been revealed.
The Best In Show actor, who died aged 86 two weeks ago, suffered a cardiac arrest and had underlying myelodysplastic syndrome and coronary artery disease, according to his death certificate obtained by TMZ.
The esteemed comedy star, who has been buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles, was well known for his roles in Christopher Guest mockumentaries A Mighty Wind and For Your Consideration.
Sad loss: Comic talent Fred Willard has passed away at 86 from a heart attack, it has been revealed
The news was first shared on May 16 by actress Jamie Lee Curtis, the wife of Willard’s longtime collaborator Guest.
‘How lucky that we all got to enjoy Fred Willard’s gifts,’ Curtis tweeted.
‘He is with his missed Mary now. Thanks for the deep belly laughs Mr. Willard.’
Willard’s wife of 50 years, Mary, died in 2018.
Funnyman: The legendary comedic actor was well known for his roles in Christopher Guest mockumentaries like Best In Show, For Your Consideration and This Is Spinal Tap
The news was first shared by: Jamie Lee Curtis, the wife of Willard’s longtime collaborator Guest, who tweeted out condolences
While Fred was famous for his cheeky dog show host in Best In Show as well as his Emmy-nominated roles on Modern Family and Everybody Loves Raymond – the latter of which earning him three Emmy nods – Willard had an illustrious television career dating all the way back to 1966.
Just some of the notable series in which he appeared over the decades include Get Smart, The Bob Newhart Show, Laverne & Shirley, The Love Boat, Golden Girls, Roseanne, Married… with Children, Lois & Clark, Mad About You and Ally McBeal.
Willard’s daughter Hope Mulbarger commemorated her father in a statement at the time of his death, saying, ‘He kept moving, working and making us happy until the very end. We loved him so very much! We will miss him forever.’
Touching: Willard’s daughter Hope Mulbarger commemorated her father in a statement
While Fred was famous for his Emmy-nominated roles on Modern Family and Everybody Loves Raymond, he had an illustrious television career dating back to 1966; seen here with Ty Burrell
What a judge: Arguably Fred’s most famous and sidesplitting role was as the bonkers announcer of the dog show opposite Jim Piddock’s straight man in Best In Show from 2000
TV work: Willard played Scott, husband to Leon (Martin Mull) on Roseanne
In addition to his unparalleled career in television, Willard turned in some memorable film roles as well, beyond his celebrated collaboration on the Christopher Guest comedies.
He played Ed Harken in Anchorman as well as its sequel, figured prominently as the only live-action participant in the Pixar epic WALL·E, and lent his voice to films such as Planes: Fire & Rescue and Monster House.
Other famous industry players to share condolences regarding Willard’s passing included Judd Apatow, who called him ‘pure joy’ and said he ‘could not have been funnier.’
Accolades: Fred earned three Emmy nods for his role on Everybody Loves Raymond; seen here with Ray Romano and Chris Elliott
In addition to his unparalleled career in television, Willard turned in some memorable film roles as well: Here his is seen opposite Will Ferrell in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
TV veteran: Willard had an illustrious television career dating all the way back to 1966, with credits including The Bob Newhart Show, Laverne & Shirley and Golden Girls (pictured)
Henry Winkler of Happy Days fame said Fred was ‘incomparable.’
And Jimmy Kimmel, who welcomed Willard as a guest on his late night show numerous times, said ‘there was no man sweeter or funnier. We were so lucky to know Fred Willard and will miss his many visits’.
Finally, Michael McKean, Willard’s Best In Show costar, tweeted that he was ‘at a loss for words, a state Fred Willard never found himself in. My friend for 40+ years, a great comic actor who had no competition because there was only one of him. We were all so lucky. Goodbye, Fred.’
Remembered: Famous industry players to share condolences on Saturday regarding Willard’s passing included Judd Apatow, who called him ‘pure joy’
Not forgotten: Jimmy Kimmel, who welcomed Willard as a guest on his late night show numerous times, said ‘there was no man sweeter or funnier’
‘At a loss for words’: Michael McKean, Willard’s Best In Show costar, tweeted in Fred’s honor
Even animal rights organization PETA acknowledged the passing of Willard, in a statement by Senior Vice President Lisa Lange.
She wrote, ‘Animals have lost a dear friend with the passing of Fred Willard.
‘His humor and kind nature were evident in everything he did – from advocating for an end to the animal overpopulation crisis to sticking up for betta fish, who are treated like office decorations and forced to endure a lifetime of loneliness in small bowls – and all beings finned and furred are better off because of him.
‘Fred was empathy personified and will be greatly missed by all of us at PETA.’
RIP: Fred is survived by his daughter Hope, whom he had with his wife of 50 years Mary, who died in 2018 at the age of 71
Famous friends: Even Amy Schumer took the time to acknowledge the comedic impact of the legendary funnyman
High praise: Steve Carell called Willard ‘the funniest person that I’ve ever worked with’
Co-star: Fred’s Modern Family scene partner Jesse Tyler Ferguson described the late actor as a ‘genius’
More love: Willard’s Everybody Loves Raymond co-star Patricia Heaton called the departed actor ‘a master of his craft’
From one icon to another: Happy Days star Henry Winkler called Fred ‘incomparable’
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