Fred Willard, the comedic improv-style actor, has died at 86

Fred Willard (Bridget Laudien / CC BY-SA (
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Fred Willard, the comedic actor whose improv style kept him relevant for more than 50 years in films like “This Is Spinal Tap,” “Best In Show” and “Anchorman,” has died. He was 86.

Willard’s daughter said in a statement Saturday that her father died peacefully Friday night. The cause of his death has not been released.

Willard was rarely a leading man or even a major supporting character. He specialized in small, scene-stealing appearances.

Willard was a four-time Emmy nominee for his roles in “What’s Hot, What’s Not,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Modern Family” and “The Bold and the Beautiful.”

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