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Fred Williard

Quick Facts

Auditioned for Second City with Robert Klein

Nominated for 4 Emmy Awards

Has appeared in over 70 films

Fred Williard

Four-time Emmy nominee Fred Willard radiates a unique charm that has established him as one of our generation’s most gifted comic actors. A master of sketch comedy, Fred is most heralded for his quick wit and improvisational expertise which he has exemplified in over 100 appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Hired by The Second City in 1965 along with Robert Klein, Willard appeared in the theater’s 18th and 19th revues, Off the Road and This and That respectively, both directed by Sheldon Patinkin with legendary Musical Director Fred Kaz.

Willard was a founding member of the classic improv group the Ace Trucking Company. The Ace Trucking Company were regulars on The Tom Jones Show and opened for Tom Jones in Las Vegas.

Willard has appeared in over seventy films. His work in Waiting For Guffman, alongside Second City alums Catherine O’HaraEugene LevyDon Lake, and Brian Doyle-Murray, earned him an American Comedy Award nod for Funniest Supporting Actor.  For his performance in Best in Show, he won the Boston Film Critics Award, the American Comedy Award, The Sierra Award and a tribute from AFI. Some of his other film work includes; This Is Spinal Tap, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, A Mighty Wind, For Your Consideration, the Academy Award-nominated Monster House, and the Academy Award-winning short film, Ray’s Male Heterosexual Dance Hall. Willard starred as the only human in the Academy Award-winning film WALL-E and was honored by AFI for contributing to America’s Cultural legacy. The New York Times named WALL-E the best film of the decade.

Willard has appeared in over a thousand TV episodes, from Get Smart to his recent appearances on Modern Family. He co-starred with Martin Mull in the cult classic Fernwood 2Night, was a regular on Sirota’s Court, D.C. Follies (again the only human), Maybe It’s Me, A Minute with Stan Hooper, and Back To You. Fred garnered three Emmy nominations for his performance as Amy’s dad on Everybody Loves Raymond. For What’s Hot, What’s Not, he received a daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Talk Show Host. He received his fourth prime time Emmy nomination for his performance as Phil’s dad on ABC’s multi-Emmy winner, Modern Family.

Willard and his wife Mary were honored for their charity work with Big Brothers / Big Sisters in 2011. In November of 2012, Fred was honored to receive a Lifetime Achievement award from the Olympia Film Society in Olympia, Washington. Fred also devotes his time to Actors and Others for Animals, LA’s Best, 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.”

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