Beloved Actor Fred Willard Dies At 86

Fred Willard born Frederick “Charles” Willard was an American actor, comedian, and writer. He was best known for his roles in films as Rob Reiner mockumentary. “This Is Spinal Tap; the Christopher Guest mockumentary films Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, For Your Consideration, Mascots, and the Anchorman films.

According to Willard, in an interview with the Television Academy Foundation, he was born on September 18, 1939, and was “pretty sure” that he was born in Cleveland. In the same interview, he gave his birth name as Frederick Charles Willard without specifying the spelling of his first name, and noted that his father was also Frederick but with a different spelling.

U.S. Census records from April 1940 show the father as “Willard, Fred C,” working in the financial department of a bank, and the son as “Frederick,” but also shows the son as attending school in 1940 and at the age of “6” which, if correctly indicating years instead of months, would place his birth in 1933 or 1934. Also, at his death in 2020, his daughter was quoted as saying that he was 86.

Some indirect sources contradict one fact or another, such as listing Willard’s birthplace as Shaker Heights, Ohio. In any case, the younger Willard stated that he grew up in Shaker Heights, which corresponds to the 1940 Census record showing the family on Riedham Road in that city.

His mother, Ruth, whose maiden name was Weinman, was a housewife. Willard said that he was 12 years old in 1951 when his father died. The younger 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.

As found on Youtube