RIP Fred Willard: Tributes and Some Classic Scenes

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Fred Willard in 2003’s A Mighty Wind

Although he was never what you would call a movie star, actor Fred Willard always made the films he was in better. And he was in a lot of them. The veteran actor died on May 15 at age 86.

Willard was part of Christopher Guest’s large repertory company for such films as Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, and For Your Consideration. The comic actor was also in Rob Reiner’s classic mockumentary This is Spinal Tap, plus part of the great ensemble cast in the Anchorman films. TV viewers enjoyed watching him in such TV series as Fernwood 2 Night. Willard had a recurring role in the upcoming Netflix comedy series, Space Force, which premieres May 29.

When the news arrived of his passing, many of his co-stars paid tribute to the actor on Saturday, May 16. Guest’s wife, Jaime Lee Curtis, wrote, “How lucky that we all got to enjoy Fred Willard’s gifts.” Steve Carell called Willard “the funniest person that I’ve ever worked with.”

Michael McKean wrote in part, “I’m at a loss for words, a state Fred Willard never found himself in.”

Filmmaker Judd Apatow wrote, “Fred Willard could not have been funnier. He was pure joy. And the sweetest person you could ever meet.”

Penn Jillette called Willard’s acting “Genius.”

Watch Willard judging the hounds in Best in Show

“We are such fans of your music… and all of your records… I’m not speaking of yours personally, but the whole genre…”

Related: Another classic scene from This is Spinal Tap

“Hey, wha’ happened?”

Watch a scene with the great ensemble cast of Anchorman

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