Actor Fred Willard, known for his roles in This Is Spinal Tap, Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, and For Your Consideration, died on Friday at his home in Los Angeles of natural causes. He was 86.
Willard film debut was in the 1967 exploitation film Teenage Mother. He played Tom Osbourne in the 1987 Academy Award–winning short film, Ray’s Male Heterosexual Dance Hall.
He has appeared in many Christopher Guest films, including as A Mighty Wind; Best in Show; Waiting for Guffman; This Is Spinal Tap; and For Your Consideration. 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.
Willard was honored as a Pioneer in Comedy at the 2011 Burbank International Film Festival.
He is survived by his daughter, Hope Willard. His wife, the writer Mary Willard, died in 2018.