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Topic: Fred Willard 1933-2020 Post Reply | Post New Topic
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Brian Miller
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Joined: 28 July 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 27440
Posted: 16 May 2020 at 1:35pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Fred Willard has passed. This one hurts. A lot.

I struggled with whether or not to put this in TV or Movies and because
my favorite role of his was in BEST IN SHOW, I chose movies.
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Rick Senger
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Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 8691
Posted: 16 May 2020 at 1:58pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Huge fan of everything he did in every venue he did it in. Like that great, likable uncle in your family with flaws but who everybody couldn't help but adore.
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John Popa
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Joined: 20 March 2008
Posts: 3551
Posted: 16 May 2020 at 2:35pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

He brightened anything he was in, always made it funnier, a master of being hilarious while improvising without feeling like he's mugging for laughs.

Sad news, hits me more than I expected, to be honest. 
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Doug Centers
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Joined: 17 February 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 4274
Posted: 16 May 2020 at 2:45pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Sad to hear.

I'll admit it took me some time to warm to his humor, but by the nineties I was a huge fan!
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Rich Marzullo
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Joined: 13 January 2011
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Posted: 16 May 2020 at 5:37pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

One of those actors that I could watch in anything. 
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Peter Martin
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Joined: 17 March 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 12655
Posted: 16 May 2020 at 7:09pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

This news did make me sad. What a fun persona he conveyed on-screen. Enjoyed his work in many films (the Pitch Perfect series and American Wedding immediately spring to mind) and thought he fit like a glove working with Ty Burrell in Modern Family.
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John Byrne

Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 120981
Posted: 16 May 2020 at 7:11pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

One of those distinctively American actors who built a character and took it with him from role to role—very successfully!
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Brian Miller
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 28 July 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 27440
Posted: 16 May 2020 at 7:34pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

"Excuse me if this off the subject a little bit, but just take a guess at how
much I can bench press. "
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Matt Reed
Byrne Robotics Security

Robotmod

Joined: 16 April 2004
Posts: 33537
Posted: 17 May 2020 at 1:35am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I love this anecdote that was reported in the Hollywood Reporter obit:

In 2012, Willard was arrested for allegedly masturbating inside the Tiki Theater Xymposium, an adult movie house on Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles. Willard insisted he did nothing wrong and no charges were filed, but before things were resolved, PBS had fired him from the show Market Warriors.

A week after the incident, Willard joked about it as a guest on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. "Let me say this: It's the last time I'm going to listen to my wife when she says, 'Why don't you go out and see a movie?' " he said.

Fallon asked Willard if the film he was there to see was The Firm (no), Free Willy (no) or Anaconda (no). "Sadly," he said, "it was Get Shorty."

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Shaun Barry
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Joined: 08 December 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 6517
Posted: 17 May 2020 at 10:17am | IP Logged | 10 post reply


I enjoyed every appearance I've seen him in, since he used to co-host TV's "Real People" back in '79 or '80.  Favorite roles include those in "Salem's Lot," ANCHORMAN, BEST IN SHOW and "Everybody Loves Raymond."  Looking back, I love how he never seemed to rely on any real mugging or over-the-top schtick.

Just a solid, dependable, witty comedic actor.  Greatly missed already!

RIP



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Tim O Neill
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Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 10293
Posted: 18 May 2020 at 4:25pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply



Such a sad loss - he had a great body of work, and the height for me was the
work he did in Christopher Guest's movies.

I've seen him frequently in the last few years as Jimmy Kimmel had been
featuring him regularly in skits. Kimmel is a great student of comedy, and he
continues to feature comedy legends as they get older. He frequently had Don
Rickles on his show right up until the end, doing what he did best - insult
people during an interview segment. Willard would be featured in an opening
monologue sketch -playing a character. His timing was still there, but I
couldn't miss that his hands were shaking, even though they kept him behind a
desk or holding something to provide cover.

I bet most of the late night shows honor him tonight, but I am sure Kimmel will
remember him tonight.   



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Chris Marquardt
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Joined: 20 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 181
Posted: 19 May 2020 at 9:12am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Kimmel's whole show was a celebration of Fred, and is well worth checking out
(he has a very thorough YouTube presence). I haven't laughed so hard in a long
time, and there were many touching tributes by the likes of Catherine O'Hara,
Martin Mull, Eugene Levy and Christopher Guest.

Note to Peter above: Fred wasn't in Pitch Perfect. That was John Michael
Higgins doing a great version of a typical Fred character.
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