How High, Anchorman actor Fred Willard passes away at 86
Comedic actor Fred Willard has passed away at 86 of natural causes.
Actress Jamie Lee Curtis first broke the news with a tweet: “How lucky that we all got to enjoy Fred Willard’s gifts. He is with his missed Mary now. Thanks for the deep belly laughs Mr. Willard.”
TMZ shared a statement from Willard’s daughter Hope Mulbarger confirming that her father had passed away on Friday at his Los Angeles home.
“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.”
Willard played some hilarious characters over his highly illustrious career that spanned six decades. He played the role of Ed Harken in Anchorman, Frank Dunphy (who’s character also passed away recently in the final season of Modern Family, Ron Albertson in Waiting for Guffman, Marsh McGinley in Back to You, Hank MacDougall in Everybody Loves Raymond, and the Mission Commander in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.
He also did some memorable voice acting including the role of teacher Joe Petto on The Boondocks and various roles on King of the Hill.
One classic Fred Willard role hip-hop heads will remember came in Universal’s How High (2001) as Chancellor Huntley. There’s a hilarious exchange during a scene where Willard’s character is trying to recruit Method Man and Redman to come to Harvard, and after making a successful pitch they both tell him “I’ll fucks withcha.” Which, of course, gave us us the legendary line in response “Then we’ll ‘fox’ with each other.”
More recently, Willard was working with Steve Carell and others on the new comedy series Space Force, currently listed as being in post-production on IMDB. It’s expected on May 29. Willard also played in the comedy television-movie Space Force back in 1978.
Our condolences to Fred Willard’s family and friends.
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