Smartypants Romance Biography & Facts
Frederic Charles Willard (September 18, 1933 – May 15, 2020) was an American actor, comedian, and writer. He was best known for his roles in the Rob Reiner mockumentary film This Is Spinal Tap; the Christopher Guest mockumentaries Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, For Your Consideration, and Mascots; and the Anchorman films; as well as for his television roles on Fernwood 2 Night, Everybody Loves Raymond, and Modern Family.
Frederic Charles Willard was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 18, 1933. Willard's mother, Ruth (née Weinman) was a housewife. His father, Frederick Charles Willard (note the spelling difference), died in 1945 when he was 12 years old. He was raised in Shaker Heights, Ohio.Willard graduated from the Kentucky Military Institute in 1951 and the Virginia Military Institute in 1955. He was stationed in Germany while serving in the United States Army.
Willard's stage career began when he moved to New York in the late 1950s. His initial work included a production of Desperate Hours at a local YMCA where he worked with future comedy partner Vic Grecco. They later performed as Willard & Grecco in the Greenwich Village area, found some success touring, and appeared on The Dean Martin Show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and The Tonight Show. They were offered roles in the television series Get Smart and The Carol Burnett Show, but the offers fell through due to poor management. The two parted ways in 1968.Willard's film debut was in the 1967 exploitation film Teenage Mother. He later reported that the audience at one screening booed when his character interrupted an attempted sexual assault of the female lead.One of Willard's earliest performing jobs was at The Second City, Chicago, where he shared the stage with Robert Klein and David Steinberg. He was a founding member of the improvisational comedy group Ace Trucking Company, whose other members included Michael Mislove and Bill Saluga. They performed sketches on The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson over 50 times, and appeared regularly on This is Tom Jones.
Rise to prominence
Willard achieved wider fame in 1977-78 as Barth Gimble's (Martin Mull) sidekick and announcer Jerry Hubbard on the Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman spinoffs Fernwood 2 Night, Forever Fernwood and America 2-Night, which parodied the nighttime talk shows of the day. He was an original cast member of the NBC series Real People in 1979, then again from 1981 to 1983. He played Tom Osbourne in the 1987 Academy Award–winning short film Ray's Male Heterosexual Dance Hall. From 1987 to 1989 he starred as a bartender/straightman in Sid and Marty Krofft's D.C. Follies, and was host to the Krofft puppets portraying political figures of the time.Willard hosted the talk show What's Hot, What's Not, which aired from 1985 to 1986 and earned him a daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Talk Show Host.In 1990, Willard hosted the cable TV show Access America on the Ha! Comedy Network. As part of that show, on September 21, 1990 he appeared in episode 7 of the cult public-access television show Decoupage with Summer Caprice. In 1995, Willard reunited with his Fernwood co-star playing Scott, the romantic partner of Mull's character Leon Carp, on Roseanne. The couple married in the episode "December Bride," and Scott became a recurring character during the series' final two seasons. That same year, Willard guest-starred in three episodes of Sister, Sister, starring Tia and Tamera Mowry; Willard played Carl Mitushka, a teacher at Roosevelt High who often spoke popular teenage slang terms in order to sound cool to his students. Willard voiced travel agent Wally Kogen in the 1999 episode "Sunday, Cruddy Sunday" for The Simpsons.
From 2001 to 2002, he played the father of five children on Maybe It's Me, and also guest-starred in an episode of The Weird Al Show. He and Mull joined up again for the mockumentary The History of White People in America. He played Mayor Deebs in Roxanne, starring Steve Martin.
Willard appeared in several Christopher Guest films, such as A Mighty Wind, in which he played Mike LaFontaine (known for his catchphrase "Eh—whahappen'?"); Best in Show, where he played Buck Laughlin, a dog show announcer with an unending stream of bad jokes and off-color comments; Waiting for Guffman, playing Ron Albertson, a travel agent who performs in amateur stage productions with his wife; This Is Spinal Tap, where he played a lieutenant on the military base where Spinal Tap perform; and For Your Consideration as an obnoxious entertainment television show anchor. For his performance in Waiting for Guffman, Willard 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 of Buck Laughlin in Best in Show. He also appeared in American Wedding, and as KVWN news director Ed Harken in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.
Willard had a recurring role as Hank MacDougall on the later seasons of CBS's Everybody Loves Raymond, which brought him Emmy Award nominations in 2003, 2004 and 2005. He also hosted a VH1 documentary series, Totally Obsessed, about people obsessed with their hobbies. He appeared as Captain Ribmanman in Episode 21 of Channel Frederator, a podcast from Kansas. He provided the voices of nudist family dad Dave Campbell in "Family Guy" (first in the episode "From Method to Madness"), and of Officer Brown in King of the Hill, and appeared on That '70s Show. On The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Willard appeared in 100 sketches as a government official, businessman, or other authority figure who was always drinking. In 2006, he voiced Dad in the Academy Award nominated animated film Monster House. He also hosted Saturday Night Live in 1978 (with musical guests Devo), and appeared twice on MADtv.
He was the voice of a clueless companion to a lazy robot (Martin Mull) in one episode of the series Dexter's Laboratory and guest-starred on the Adult Swim cartoon Tom Goes to the Mayor. He acted in the Cartoon Network movie Re-Animated and played Vala Mal Doran's "father" in an episode of Stargate SG-1 in 2007. He appeared in two episodes of the Adult Swim program Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!. He also starred as the "Boogey Man" in an episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy and reprised his role in a 2006 video game and the movie Billy & Mandy's Big Boogey Adventure. His final appearance as "Boogey" occurred in Billy & Mandy: Wrath of the Spider Queen. In 2007, he made a guest appearance on the children's TV series Come on Over. He also guest-starred on an episode of The Boondocks, providing the voice of "Joe Petto."
Willard was cast as a sportscaster in the television series Back to You, which premiered on the Fox Network on September 19, 2007. He played Shelby F.... Discover the Smartypants Romance popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Smartypants Romance books.