Fred Willard, the critically acclaimed and much-loved comedic actor, has passed away at the age of 86.
Willard, who is most commonly recognised for his role the Rob Reiner mockumentary film This Is Spinal Tap, also enjoyed major success with appearances in the Anchorman films, the Christopher Guest mockumentary films Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, For Your Consideration, Mascots and many more.
The news of Willard’s death was confirmed by his representative Glenn Schwartz who released the news in a statement issued to Rolling Stone. Schwartz confirmed that the cause of death was natural causes.
“A four-time Emmy nominee radiated a unique charm that established him as one of our generation’s most gifted comic actors,” a representative for Willard wrote. “A master of sketch comedy, Fred was most heralded for his quick wit and improvisational expertise, which he demonstrated in hundreds of appearances on stage, on the big screen, and on a wide range of television shows.”
In a separate statement, Willard’s daughter Hope Mulbarger said: “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. We loved him so very much! We will miss him forever.”
While tributes have continued to pour in, queen of horror Jamie Lee Curtis, who is the wife of Willard’s longtime collaborator Christopher Guest, took to social media to say: “How lucky that we all got to enjoy Fred Willard’s gifts,” Curtis said on social media. “He is with his missed Mary now. Thanks for the deep belly laughs Mr. Willard.”
See some of his work, below.