“He was one of the funniest people I’ve ever worked with,” wrote Steve Carell.

Another great actor is leaving us. Veteran Fred Willard , one of the most popular faces in the Modern Family despite having only a minor role in who played the life of Frank Dunphy, father of Phil ( Ty Burrell ), died yesterday of natural causes at age 86 .

“He was one of the funniest people I’ve ever worked with,” wrote Steve Carell , with whom he has starred in Netflix’s yet-to-be-released new space comedy , Space Force .

Willard was a great supporting actor who starred in countless television series. Perhaps the most successful was Everybody Loves Raymond , where he played Hank McDougall in 14 episodes , a role for which he was nominated up to three times for the Emmy Awards as a guest actor: in 2003, 2004 and 2005. His fourth Emmy nomination. He got it in the role of the Dunphy patriarch in 2009.

Fred Willard also voiced Fred Forthright on the animated film WALL-E , he was one of the supporting characters for This Is Spinal Tap and Harold Flaherty in the comedy American Pie: What a Wedding!

Stars from around the world have gone out of their way to post online tributes reminding Willard: “He couldn’t be a more fun man. He was pure feilicity. And the sweetest person you could ever meet,” wrote humorist Judd Apatow .

Jesse Tyler (Mitchell Pritchett in Modern Family ) has also stated: “You will always be truly unique. Thank you for all these years of laughter and brilliant characters. To say that we are honored to have you as part of Modern Family would be little. Rest on fish, sweet Fred. “


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