Comic Actor Fred Willard Dead at 86: ‘We Loved Him So Very Much,’ Says Daughter


Beloved film star Fred Willard has died. He was 86.

The comedic star, whose numerous credits include Best in Show, This Is Spinal Tap, Everybody Loves Raymond and Modern Family, died of natural causes, a rep for the actor confirms to PEOPLE.

"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 tells PEOPLE in a statement. "We loved him so very much!"

"A fond farewell to Mr. Fred Willard," actress Jamie Lee Curtis, whose husband, Christopher Guest, has worked with Willard extensively over the years, wrote in an Instagram tribute."How lucky we all are that we got to witness his great gifts. Thanks for the deep belly laughs. You are now with Mary. Home safe."

His death comes less than two years after his wife Mary died at 71. The pair had been married since 1968 and had one daughter.

Earlier this year, Willard’s Modern Family character died of old age.

Willard played Frank for 14 episodes across all 11 seasons. In 2010, the role garnered Willard an Emmy nomination for outstanding guest actor in a comedy series.

This is a developing story…

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