Fred Willard passed away yesterday at the age of 86 according to his daughter, Hope. From what I've read it was peaceful and he was still actively living life right up to the very end. His now final role, playing Steve Carell's dad in the new Netflix show "Space Force" is set to debut at the end of the month.
The actor and comedian's career spanned parts of EIGHT decades (I doubled checked).
That means there's plenty to pick from for your favorite Fred Willard role; although you'll have a hard time finding many brain surgeons or rocket scientists. The man was brilliant at playing dumb! And he was in EVERYTHING! Fred Willard's filmography is no joke (despite all the laughs he provided along the way). Name a show that mattered from like 1977-2019 and he probably made an appearance.
When I was 10 or 11 one of my cool aunts showed me Best in Show. This is what my brain is telling me when I try to recall my first experience with Mr. Willard, although I suppose Spinal Tap could've been on in the background at some point when I was like four. I didn't believe her when she told me most of the movie (Best in Show,,,but also Spinal Tap) was improvised, but I quickly learned of Fred Willard's genius.`He's one of the founding fathers of the Mockumentary. It's such a cliché, but he just had "it". If you haven't seen Best in Show or A Mighty Wind I cannot recommend them enough. Especially if you like Schitt's Creek.
Fred's comedic timing was ELITE.
Much like Jerry Stiller, who passed away earlier this week; Willard's career went way back (you saw the fingies). Both were beloved/seen as overall great guys by their peers. Willard's final tweets were paying respect to both Stiller and Little Richard.
While there's actually some people on twitter who feel the need to bring Phil Hartman's tragic MURDER into the mix for online applause....
There were plenty of Mr. Willard's peers that took to twitter to pay their respects in a genuine way.
R.I.P. Fred Willard. What a beautiful life he lived! My condolences to his family and loved ones.