Comic Actor Fred Willard Dies at 86

May 16, 2020 Updated: May 16, 2020

Comic actor Fred Willard died Friday at the age of 86.

Jamie Lee Curtis, wife of Willard’s longtime director Christopher Guest, shared the news of the actor’s death in a post on her Twitter account.

“How lucky that we all got to enjoy Fred Willard’s gifts. He is with his missed Mary now,” she wrote. “Thanks for the deep belly laughs Mr. Willard.”

Willard’s wife of 40 years, Mary, died in 2018, according to Deadline.

Willard’s rep Glenn Schwartz confirmed his death to Rolling Stone.

He died due to natural causes, Schwartz added.

Willard’s daughter also confirmed his death in a statement.

“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. We loved him so very much!” his daughter Hope told Fox News in a statement on Saturday. “We will miss him forever.”

Willard’s career in comedy and entertainment spanned more than half a century. He began his career in the early 1960s doing a duo act with Vic Greco. The pair performed at colleges and comedy clubs and also performed on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

Later, Willard and his improvisational comedy group, Ace Trucking Company, performed more than 50 times on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” and on “This Is Tom Jones.” Willard also appeared in approximately 100 sketches on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”

The Associated Press contributed to the report.

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