||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2007)|
Willard at the Farm Sanctuary 25th Anniversary Gala in New York City on May 14, 2011
September 18, 1939 |
Shaker Heights, Ohio, U.S.
|Alma mater||Kentucky Military Institute,
Virginia Military Institute
|Occupation||Actor, comedian, voice actor, writer|
Frederic "Fred" Willard (born September 18, 1939) is an American actor, comedian, voice actor, and writer, best known for his improvisational comedy. He is known for his roles in the Rob Reiner mockumentary film This Is Spinal Tap, as well as the Christopher Guest mockumentary films Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, and For Your Consideration. He is an alumnus of The Second City. He received three Emmy nominations for his recurring role on the TV series Everybody Loves Raymond as Robert Barone's father-in-law, Hank MacDougall. In 2010, he received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his role on the ABC TV series Modern Family as Phil Dunphy's father, Frank Dunphy.
He also received a Daytime Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Talk Show Host for What’s Hot, What’s Not. One of his earliest jobs was at The Second City, Chicago, where he shared the stage with Robert Klein and David Steinberg. He was a founding member of the improvisational comedy group Ace Trucking Company. Fellow members of Ace included Michael Mislove and Bill Saluga. They performed sketches on The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson over 50 times and appeared regularly on This Is Tom Jones.
Willard's birth year has been variously reported as 1933 and 1939. However, 1940 Census records show that he was 6 years old in 1940. He grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio. His father, also named Fred Willard, worked at the financial department of a bank. His father died in 1951. Willard is a former U.S. soldier, having graduated from the Kentucky Military Institute. He also graduated college from the Virginia Military Institute. After his tour in the Army, Willard auditioned alongside Robert Klein for The Second City, portraying a nightclub manager and his employee. The audition helped the two secure the job. He is an alumnus of The Second City. He starred off Broadway Jules Pfeiffer's "Little Murders," directed by Alan Arkin. He was a founding member of the improvisational comedy group Ace Trucking Company. Fellow members of Ace included Bill Saluga and Patti Deutsch, among others. They appeared regularly on This is Tom Jones.
Willard's film debut was in the 1967 exploitation film Teenage Mother. In a brief interview on the DVD extras of the 2007 documentary film Heckler, Willard reports that the audience at one screening of the film booed when his character interrupted an attempted sexual assault of the female lead character.
Willard achieved wider fame as Martin Mull's sidekick, "Jerry Hubbard," on the television shows Fernwood 2 Night, Forever Fernwood, and America 2-Night, which parodied the nighttime talk shows of the day. He was an original cast member of the NBC comedy series Real People in 1979 and again from 1981 to 1983. He plays Tom Osbourne in the 1987 Academy Award–winning short film, Ray’s Male Heterosexual Dance Hall. From 1987 to 1989, he starred as a bartender/straightman in Sid and Marty Krofft's D.C. Follies, and was host to the Krofft puppets portraying political figures of the time. In 1990 Willard hosted the cable TV show "Access America" on the Ha! Comedy Network. As part of that show, he appeared September 21, 1990 on Episode #7 of the cult Public-access television show Decoupage with Summer Caprice. In 1995 Willard reunited with his Fernwood co-star playing Scott, the romantic partner of Mull's character Leon Carp, on Roseanne. The couple married in the episode "December Bride," and Scott became a recurring character during the series' final two seasons. That same year, Willard had guest-starred in three episodes of Sister, Sister, starring Tia and Tamera Mowry; Willard played Carl Mitushka, a teacher at Roosevelt High who often spoke popular teenage slang terms in order to sound cool to his students. Willard guest-voiced a 1999 episode of The Simpsons titled Sunday, Cruddy Sunday as Wally Kogen, a travel agent. From 2001 to 2002, he played the father of five children on Maybe It's Me. He has also guest-starred in an episode of The Weird Al Show. He and Mull joined up again for The History of White People in America. He played Mayor Deebs in Roxanne starring Steve Martin. His “I would rather be with the people of this town than with the finest people in the world” has been widely quoted.
His most recent notable work has been in Christopher Guest films, such as A Mighty Wind, in which he played "Mike LaFontaine," a character known for his catchphrase, "Eh? Wha' happened?"; Best in Show, in which he portrayed "Buck Laughlin," a dog show announcer who offered up an unending stream of bad jokes and off-color comments; Waiting for Guffman, in which he played "Ron Albertson," a travel agent who performs in amateur stage productions with his wife; This Is Spinal Tap, in which he played a lieutenant on the military base where Spinal Tap play; and For Your Consideration as an obnoxious entertainment television show anchor. For his performance in Waiting for Guffman he received an American Comedy Award nomination and a Screen Actors Guild nomination for Funniest Supporting Actor. He received the Boston Film Critics Award, an American Comedy Award, a Sierra Award and a tribute from AFI for his portrayal as Buck Laughlin in Best in Show. He also appeared as KVWN news director "Ed Harken" in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and in American Wedding.
Willard had a recurring role as "Hank MacDougall" on the later seasons of CBS's Everybody Loves Raymond. He was nominated for an Emmy Award for this role in 2003, 2004, and 2005. Willard was also the host of a VH1 documentary series called Totally Obsessed about people obsessed with their hobbies. He appears as "Captain Ribmanman" in Episode 21 of Channel Frederator, a podcast from Kansas. Willard also landed a role on Family Guy as Dave Campbell, the father of a nudist family (first appearing in "From Method to Madness"). It is unclear whether or not the role will be reprised. Willard also voices "Officer Brown" in King of the Hill and has made an appearance on That '70s Show. Willard has appeared in one hundred sketches on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, as a government official, businessman, or other authority figure named Willard J. Fredericks, who is always drinking. In 2007 he played Dad in the Academy Award nominated, animated film Monster House. He also hosted Saturday Night Live in 1978 (musical guest: Devo) and appeared twice on SNL's rival show, MADtv. Two years before this, he made a minor appearance in the movie Silver Streak as a bemused railroad train master.
He was the voice of a clueless companion to a lazy robot (Martin Mull) in one episode of the series Dexter's Laboratory and guest-starred on the Adult Swim cartoon Tom Goes to the Mayor. He acted in the Cartoon Network movie Re-Animated and played Vala Mal Doran's "father" in an episode of Stargate SG-1 in 2007. He appeared in an episode of the Adult Swim program Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!. He has also starred as the "Boogie Man" in an episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy and reprised his role in the movie Billy & Mandy's Big Boogey Adventure. His final appearance as "Boogey" occurred in Billy & Mandy: Wrath of the Spider Queen. In 2007, he made a guest appearance on the children's TV series Come on Over. He has also guest-starred on an episode of The Boondocks, providing the voice of "Joe Petto." In 2008, he guest starred on Transformers Animated as the Decepticon arms dealer Swindle.
Willard was cast as a sportscaster in the television series Back to You, which premiered on the Fox Network on September 19, 2007. He also made an appearance in the 2007 sci-fi comedy I'll Believe You, and he plays Shelby Forthright, the CEO of the Buy ’n’ Large Corporation, in live-action segments in the Pixar animated film WALL-E.
Willard completed a sold-out run of his "one-man show" Fred Willard: Alone At Last!, advertised as a one-man show but actually featuring a cast of 10, and received Los Angeles Artistic Director Awards for Best Comedy and Best Production. Willard has several stage roles to his credit, including Off-Broadway performances in “Little Murders,” directed by Alan Arkin, and “Arf,” directed by Richard Benjamin. His regional roles include “Call Me Madam” in Chicago and the musicals “Promises, Promises,” with Jason Alexander, and “Anything Goes” with Rachel York, both in Los Angeles. He starred in Wendy Wasserstein's “Isn't It Romantic” and off Broadway in “Elvis and Juliet.” He has completed a RiffTrax with Michael J. Nelson for the movie Missile to the Moon.
He was seen roasting William Shatner in the Comedy Central special The Comedy Central Roast of William Shatner on August 12, 2006. Also at the roast was George Takei, with whom Willard performed in the improv show Thank God You're Here.
Willard is the voice of the character "Ed Warmer" in the PlayStation Portable game Hot Brain.
In 2007 Willard took the role of "Aslo" in Epic Movie.
Willard was part of the one-night celebrity-performed staging of Howard Ashman's unproduced musical Dreamstuff. The musical was reimagined by Howard's partners Marsha Malamet and Dennis Green and performed one night only at Los Angeles's Hayworth Theatre as part of the Bruno Kirby celebrity reading series, directed by Ugly Betty's Michael Urie. Willard starred in the show alongside Eden Espinosa, Vicki Lewis, David Blue (actor), and Luke Macfarlane.
On October 5, 2008, he hosted the Nickelodeon Fido Awards.
In 2009 he played Mr Ferguson in Youth In Revolt starring Michael Cera.
Willard played Frank Dunphy, father of Phil (Ty Burrell), in several episodes of the show Modern Family. For his performance, he was nominated at the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series.
On September 16, 2011, Willard was honored as Pioneer in Comedy at Burbank International Film Festival. Willard was also hired as the LaQuinta spokesperson for a series of commercials airing in 2012.
In 2011 Willard appeared in a movie called "12 Wishes of Christmas" with Elisa Donovan, Gabrielle Carteris, and Sarah Thompson.
In July 2012, Willard served as host for the PBS series Market Warriors. The show is described as a nationwide treasure hunt along the lines of American Pickers, but was dropped after his 2012 arrest for indecent exposure.
Recently he has completed The Birder starring Tom Cavanagh opening in 2013. A mild-mannered birder seeks revenge on a younger rival, after losing the highly coveted Head of Ornithology position at the National Park.
In 2013 he played the role of "Alter Pierce" in one of Abed's happy places on the season four premier episode "History 101" of Community.
On July 18, 2012, Willard was arrested in Hollywood, California for "engaging in a lewd act" in an adult movie theater. PBS dropped Willard immediately following his arrest, and it was also reported that Market Warriors host Mark L. Walberg would take over the role of Willard on the show.
In an appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon shortly thereafter, Willard stated that the incident was "very painful" and "very embarrassing," but that he "did nothing wrong." Willard was ultimately not charged, but was required to take a $380 sex education diversion program.
For his considerable, ongoing dedication to charity works with various nonprofits Big Brothers / Big Sisters, Fred and his wife, Mary, were honored in 2010 with the Golden Star Award. Fred was also honored by Actors and Others for Animals with the Man of The Year Award in 2008, and the couple also works with City of Hope, John Wayne Cancer Society, PETA and dozens more, Fred received a commendation from the City of Los Angeles and Mayor Antonio Villaraigarosa for “outstanding humanitarian and philanthropic work helps to further the goal of making the City of Los Angeles a better place.”
|1976||Chesty Anderson, USN||Peter Linden|
|1976||Silver Streak||Jerry Jarvis|
|1977||Fun With Dick and Jane||Bob|
|1980||How to Beat the High Co$t of Living||Robert|
|1980||First Family||Presidential Assistant Feebleman|
|1982||National Lampoon's Movie Madness||President Robert Fogerty|
|1984||This Is Spinal Tap||Lt. Bob Hookstratten|
|1985||Moving Violations||Terrence 'Doc' Williams|
|1987||Ray's Male Heterosexual Dance Hall||Tom Osborne||Short film|
|1988||Portrait of a White Marriage||Hal Harrison|
|1991||High Strung||Insurance Salesman|
|1992||Married... with Children||Condo salesman, Stan Mendelson|
|1995||Prehysteria! 3||Thomas MacGregor|
|1996||Waiting for Guffman||Ron Albertson|
|1997||Breast Men||Talk Show Host||Uncredited|
|1998||Permanent Midnight||Craig Ziffer|
|1999||Can't Stop Dancing||Chester|
|1999||Idle Hands||Dad Tobias|
|1999||Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me||Mission Commander|
|2000||Chump Change||Steve's Manager|
|2000||Best in Show||Buck Laughlin|
|2001||Wedding Planner, TheThe Wedding Planner||Basil St. Mosely|
|2001||How High||Philip Huntley|
|2002||Teddy Bears' Picnic||Senator Roger Dickey|
|2003||Mighty Wind, AA Mighty Wind||Mike LaFontaine|
|2003||American Wedding||Harold Flaherty|
|2003||Nobody Knows Anything!||Mr. McClintock|
|2004||50 Ways to Leave Your Lover||Bucky Brandt|
|2004||Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle||Dr. Willoughby|
|2004||Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy||Ed Harken|
|2004||Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie||Ed Harken|
|2005||Chicken Little||Melvin - Alien Dad||Voice only|
|2006||Date Movie||Bernie Funkyerdoder|
|2006||Church Ball||Bishop Linderman|
|2006||Monster House||Dad||Voice only|
|2006||Ira & Abby||Michael Willoughby|
|2006||For Your Consideration||Chuck|
|2007||I'll Believe You||Mr. Fratus|
|2007||I Could Never Be Your Woman||Marty|
|2008||WALL-E||Shelby Forthright, BnL CEO|
|2010||Youth in Revolt||Mr. Ferguson|
|2010||Expecting Mary||Jerry Zee|
|2013||Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues||Edward "Ed" Harken|
|1966||Pistols 'n' Petticoats||Ben||Episode "Quit Shootin' Folks"|
|1968||Get Smart||Lundy, Agent 198||Episode "A Tale of Two Tails"|
|1975||The Bob Newhart Show||John Emil Tobin||Episode "Tobin's Back in Town"|
|1976||Laverne & Shirley||Charles||Episode "Dog Day Blind Dates"|
|1976||How to Break Up a Happy Divorce||Lance Colson||Television film|
|1976||Sirota's Court||D.A. Ted Nugent||Television series|
|1977||Fernwood 2 Night||Jerry Hubbard||Series, 65 Episodes - starring role|
|1977||Escape from Bogen County||Pearson||Television film|
|1978||America 2-Night||Jerry Hubbard||Series, 65 Episodes - starring role|
|1979||Flatbed Annie and Sweetiepie: Lady Truckers||Jack LaRosa||Television film|
|1979||Salem's Lot||Larry Crockett||Mini-series|
|1981||Pen 'n' Inc.||Ralph||Television film|
|1981–86||Love Boat, TheThe Love Boat||Various roles||Three episodes|
|1984||Mama's Family||Willie Potts (a.k.a. "Willie the Weasel")||Episode "Mama Buys a Car"|
|1985||History of White People in America, TheThe History of White People in America||Hal Harrison||Television film|
|1985||Lots of Luck||A.J. Foley||Television film|
|1985||Faerie Tale Theatre||Paul Link (second little pig)||Episode "The Three Little Pigs"|
|1986||History of White People in America: Volume II, TheThe History of White People in America: Volume II||Hal Harrison||Television film|
|1988–89||D.C. Follies||The Bartender||19 episodes|
|1989||My Secret Identity||Jay Bennett||Episode "For Old Time's Sake"|
|1991||The Golden Girls||Bob||Episode "Dateline:Miami"|
|1994–96||Family Matters||Vice Principal Mallet||Three episodes|
|1996||Back to Back||Loan Officer||Television film|
|1996||Friends||Mr. Lipson||Episode "The One After the Super Bowl: Part 1"|
|1996||Sister, Sister||Mr. Mitushka||3 episodes|
|1996–97||Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman||President Garner||3 episodes|
|1997||Space Ghost Coast to Coast||Himself||Guest|
|1998||The Wayans Bros||Dick Ferndale||Talk show host in episode "All In The Family Feud"|
|1998–99||Mad About You||Henry Vincent||5 episodes|
|1999||Pooch and the Pauper, TheThe Pooch and the Pauper||President||Television film|
|1999||Simpsons, TheThe Simpsons||Wally Kogan||Episode "Sunday, Cruddy Sunday"|
|2001–02||Maybe It's Me||Jerry Stage||22 episodes|
|2001–08||King of the Hill||Various roles||Seven episodes; voice only|
|2001||When Billie Beat Bobby||Howard Cosell||Television film|
|2002||Dexter's Laboratory||F.R.E.D.||episode Lab on the Run|
|2002-2004||Teamo Supremo||Mr. Paulson||TV series|
|2004||Family Guy||Dave Campbell||Two episodes; voice only|
|2003||National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure||Professor Doornitz||Television film|
|2003||That '70s Show||Charlie Miller||1 episode|
|2003–04||Minute with Stan Hooper, AA Minute with Stan Hooper||Fred Hawkins||13 episodes|
|2003–05||Everybody Loves Raymond||Hank MacDougall||13 episodes|
|2003–07||Kim Possible||Jack Hench||Three episodes; voice only|
|2004–05||Saturday Night Live||'Bear City' Narrator||Voice only; uncredited|
|2005||Tom Goes to the Mayor||Garry Friendly||Episode: "Vice Mayor"|
|2006||Re-Animated||Milt Appleday||Television film|
|2006||Handy Manny||Mr. Dwayne Bouffant|
|2007||Billy & Mandy's Big Boogey Adventure||The Boogey Man||Television film|
|2007||Stargate SG-1||Jacek||Episode "Family Ties"|
|2007–08||Back to You||Marsh McGinley||17 episodes|
|2008||Pushing Daisies||The Great Hermann||Episode "Oh Oh Oh It's Magic"|
|2008||Larry the Cable Guy's Star-Studded Christmas Extravaganza||Various roles||Television film|
|2008||Transformers Animated||Swindle||Two episodes|
|2008||The Boondocks (TV series)||Mr G. Petto||S02.E11 The S word|
|2009||Everybody Hates Chris||Cop||Episode "Everybody Hates the Car"|
|2009||Wizards of Waverly Place||Mr. Stuffleby||Two episodes|
|2009-2013||Modern Family||Frank Dunphy||Four episodes|
|2010||Castle||Hank McPhee||Episode: "The Late Shaft"|
|2010||Chuck||Craig Turner||Episode "Chuck Versus the Role Models"|
|2011||G.I. Joe: Renegades||Mayor||Episode: "Fire Fight"|
|2011||The Closer||Santa Jack||Episode: "You Have The Right To Remain Jolly"|
|2012||Raising Hope||Mr. Swift||Season 2, Episode: "Mrs. Smartypants"|
|2012||Trust Us With Your Life||Host||Season 1, 8 Episodes|
|2012||Market Warriors||Host||Season 1|
|2012||Hot in Cleveland||Dr. Hill||Season 4, Episode 5 "A Box Full of Puppies"|
|2013||Good Luck Charlie||Herb||Season 3 Episode 21 "All falls down" Special Guest Star|
|2013||Community||Pierce Hawthorne||Season 4 Episode 1 "History 101" Special Guest Star|
|2013||Drunk History||Deep Throat||Episode: "Washington D.C."|
- Tad Friend (July 3, 2006). Fred Willard, tourist. The New Yorker. Accessed 2009-06-06.
- "1940 U.S. Census". Shaker Heights, Ohio; S.D. No. 22, E.D. No. 18-289, Sheet No. 8B. Available at Ancestry.com.
- "DECOUPAGE! Episode 7. Part 1 of 4: "Monologue"". Decoupagetv.com. Retrieved 2012-10-01.
- Ben Yagoda (November 21, 2006). "Unscripted and unleashed Fred Willard is at his funniest when he's thinking on his feet.". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
- Missile to the Moon. Rifftrax. Accessed July 28, 2012.
- "ACTOR/COMEDIAN FRED WILLARD TO HOST FIRST ANNUAL WORLDWIDE FIDO AWARDS PREMIERING SUNDAY, OCT. 5, AT 8:00PM ON NICK AT NITE". Viacom. 2008-09-22. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
- "Fred Willard Will Return to Modern Family". TVGuide.com.
- "OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES 2010". www.emmys.com.
- "Burbank International Film Festival, 2011 Honorees". Burbankfilmfestival.org. Retrieved 2012-10-01.
- Willard, Fred. "The Birder with Tom Cavanagh to be released in 2013".
- Willard, Fred (27 September 2012). "Fred Willard to join cast of HBO's Family Tree". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
- Jensen, Elizabeth. "Fred Willard Loses PBS Job After Arrest - NYTimes.com". Artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2012-12-02.
- "Actor Fred Willard insists he did nothing wrong in lewd conduct arrest". Fox News. Retrieved 2012-12-02.
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