Hollywood has come out to pay respect to a comedy legend. According to his family, Fred Willard died peacefully at home for natural reasons. He was 86 years old. “My father passed away very peacefully last night at the fantastic age of 86. He kept moving, working and making us happy to the end,” said his daughter Hope Mulbarger in a statement. “We loved him so much!” Mulbarger is not the only one who pays tribute to her father.
“A warm farewell to Mr. Fred Willard,” said actress Jamie Lee Curtis, whose husband Christopher Guest has worked with Willard a lot over the years. “How happy we are all that we were able to experience his great gifts. Thanks for the deep belly laugh. You are now with Mary. At home safely.” Willard’s wife Mary died almost two years ago at the age of 71. Perhaps Willard is best known on the big screen because he appeared in the Rob Reiner-Mockumentary This is spinal tap and then continue his work with guest Waiting for Guffman, Best in show, A mighty wind, For your consideration, and mascot.
Fred Willard’s frequent co-star Michael McKean also had some nice words for the comedian on social media. “I’m missing the words, a state Fred Willard has never been in,” said McKean. Willard was really a master of improvisational comedy, as many people who have worked with him will tell you. “My friend for over 40 years, a great comic actor who didn’t have competition because there was only one of them. We were all so lucky. Goodbye Fred,” McKean concluded. Over the years, Willard’s success was not only seen on the big screen. He also appeared on Fernwood tonight, Everyone loves Raymond, Roseanne, Get smart, Murphy Brown, The Wayans brothers, King of the Hill, The simpsonsand way too many more shows to list.
Jimmy Kimmel says, “There was no sweeter or funnier man. We were lucky enough to know Fred Willard and will miss his many visits.” Steve Carrell, who has just worked with Willard on the upcoming Space Force series for Netflix, says: “Fred Willard was the funniest person I’ve ever worked with. He was a sweet, wonderful man.” An interesting side note: This is not the first time Willard has been involved in a project called Space Force. He played in 1978 in a television film of the same name as Captain Thomas Woods.
The director / author Judd Apatow also paid tribute to the comedian. “Fred Willard couldn’t have been funnier. He was pure joy. And the cutest person you could ever meet,” said Apatow. Another permanent co-star with Willard was Harry Shearer, who says: “I just found out about Fred Willard’s death. Almost the funniest person who has ever lived on the planet. An amazing talent, in telekinetic contact with the source of the comedy . ” It’s really amazing to look back and see all the projects Willard has been involved in over the years. You can read some more tributes to Willard below, starting with Jamie Lee Curtis’ Twitter Tribute.