Fred Willard Dies; Beloved Modern Family Actor Was 86
Fred Willard, a long-time film and television star who had most recently appeared on several episodes of Modern Family, died on Friday of natural causes, according to his rep.
The actor was 86 years old.
“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,” his daughter, Hope Mulbarger, told People Magazine in a statement.
“We loved him so very much!”
Willard’s career spanned many decades, but he was likely best known for playing Phil Dunphy’s dad on the aforementioned ABC sitcom, along with his roles in Best in Show, This Is Spinal Tap and Everybody Loves Raymond.
Jamie Lee Curtis — whose husband, Christopher Guest, directed Willard in several movies, including This Is Spinal Tap — shared a clip of the actor in Best in Show, writing on Saturday, May 16: