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, Willard 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.”
An alumnus of The Second City, Willard was also a founding member of the classic improv group The Ace Trucking Company. He co-starred with Martin Mull in Norman Lear’s innovative cult classic, late night talk show, “Fernwood 2Night.”
Willard has appeared in over seventy films. From “Silver Streak” with Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor to his most recent film, “Youth in Revolt,” starring Michael Cera, Ray Liotta, Steve Buscemi and Jean Smart, he has worked with Hollywood’s best. He danced with Jane Fonda in “Fun With Dick and Jane,” played a Presidential advisor in “First Family” starring Bob Newhart, Gilda Radner and Madeline Kahn, he has worked with James Mason in “Salem’s Lot,” Jennifer Lopez in “The Wedding Planner,” and Steve Martin and Daryl Hannah in “Roxanne.” Willard’s work in “Waiting For Guffman” earned him an American Comedy Award nod for Funniest Supporting Actor. In addition, he won the Boston Film Critics Award, the American Comedy Award, The Sierra Award and a tribute from the American Film Institute for his performance in “Best in Show.”
Some of Willard’s other film work includes “This Is Spinal Tap,” “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy,” “A Mighty Wind,” “For Your Consideration,” the Academy Award nominated film “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.
On stage Willard has starred off-Broadway in Jules Feiffer’s Little Murders, Dan Greenburg’s Arf and the Great Airplane Snatch, Mary Willard’s Elvis and Juliet, Mame at the Hollywood Bowl with Michelle Lee, The Los Angeles Reprise! production of Promises, Promises with Jason Alexander, the Ovation Award-winning Best Musical Anything Goes and L’il Abner with Cathy Rigby. Willard won two Artistic Director Awards for his one-man show, Fred Willard, Alone At Last!
Willard has appeared in over a thousand television episodes. He garnered three Emmy® nominations for his performance as Amy’s dad on “Everybody Loves Raymond” and a daytime Emmy® nomination for Outstanding Talk Show Host for “What’s Hot, What’s Not.”
For his charity work with City of Hope, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and Actors and Others for Animals, Willard received a commendation from the City of Los Angeles and Mayor Antonio Villaraigarosa for “outstanding humanitarian and philanthropic work.” DePaul University recently awarded Willard with the Excellence in The Arts Award.
Willard and his playwright wife Mary live in Los Angeles. Currently, he is appearing on ABC’s “Modern Family.”