Comedian and actor Fred Willard died on May 15 from natural causes at the age of 86. Daytime fans will remember him from his appearances as John Forrester on THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL. Willard was cast as Eric Forrester’s previously-mentioned but unseen older brother, John, making his debut in October 2014, and appearing on a recurring basis until June of 2015. “Fred Willard was a brother to Eric Forrester on B&B,” John McCook (Eric) tweeted after the news broke. “I should have been so blessed. RIP.”
Willard got his big break playing Jerry Hubbard on the MARY HARTMAN, MARY HARTMAN spinoffs FERNWOOD 2 NIGHT, FOREVER FERNWOOD, and AMERICA 2-NIGHT. But he is probably best known for his roles int he Christopher Guest mockumentaries A Mighty Wind, Best in Show, Waiting for Guffman, This Is Spinal Tap, and For Your Consideration. His most recent work was playing Frank Dunphy on MODERN FAMILY and he can currently be seen playing Fred Naird in the Netflix comedy SPACE FORCE.
Although Willard was nominated four times for a Primetime Emmy Award for his roles on EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND and MODERN FAMILY, he took home a Daytime Emmy Award in 2015 for his work on B&B in a three-way tie with Donna Mills (ex-Madeline, GENERAL HOSPITAL) and Ray Wise (ex-Ian, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS) for Outstanding Special Guest Performer in a Drama Series.
Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones during this difficult time.