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Fred Willard, of 'Everybody Loves Raymond, 'Best in Show,' dead at 86

Fred Willard has died at age 86. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Fred Willard has died at age 86. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

May 16 (UPI) -- Modern Family and Everybody Loves Raymond actor Fred Willard has died, his family said Saturday. He was 86.

"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," his daughter Hope told People.com in a statement. "We loved him so very much!"

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No cause of death was specified.

The former Real People host was best known for his roles in filmmaker Christopher Guest's mockumentaries, including For Your Consideration, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, Waiting for Guffman and This is Spinal Tap.

His TV and film credits date back to the 1960s and include Silver Streak, Roxanne, Permanent Midnight, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, The Wedding Planner, the Anchorman movies, The Bob Newhart Show, Get Smart and Love, American Style.

"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," actress Jamie Lee Curtis -- Guest's wife -- tweeted.

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Mary, Willard's wife of 50 years, died in 2018.

Filmmaker Judd Apatow posted on Twitter: "Fred Willard could not have been funnier. He was pure joy. And the sweetest person you could ever meet."

"There was no man sweeter or funnier. We were so lucky to know Fred Willard and will miss his many visits," talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel wrote.

"Fred Willard was the funniest person that I've ever worked with. He was a sweet, wonderful man," actor Steve Carell said.

Notable deaths of 2020

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Richard "Dick" Thornburgh, former attorney general of the United States and former governor of Pennsylvania, takes a seat at the witness hearing after U.S. Chief Justice nominee Judge John Roberts testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on September 15, 2005. Thornburgh died on December 31 at age 88. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo

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