Four-time Emmy award-winning comedy actor Fred Willard has died aged 86, his agent announced Saturday. He appeared in films including “Anchorman” and “This Is Spinal Tap” and television shows such as “Modern Family,”
Tributes flooded in for Willard, with long-time friends and fellow showbiz veteran Jamie Lee Curtis tweeting “Thanks for the deep belly laughs Mr. Willard.”
Willard himself had just paid tribute to two other showbiz legends, singer Little Richard and fellow comedian Jerry Stiller, who also died recently.
Modern viewers recognized Willard as the TV father of actor Ty Burrell’s role Phil Dunphy on ABC’s hit sitcom “Modern Family.” Willard’s career started when he moved to New York in the late 1950s.
His agent, Mike Eisenstadt, did not define the cause of Willard’s death, nor his whereabouts at the time.