Ariel Winter Heartbroken Over 'Modern Family' Co-Star Fred Willard's Death

Fred Willard's death Saturday at the age of 86 left countless fans and famous names reeling and rushing to their social media to bid farewell to the legendary comedian. This includes his co-stars and TV relatives on Modern Family, with the show's official social account paying tribute to the late actor and several actors sharing their words on the passing.

Ariel Winter joined in on the parade of mourning later on Saturday, reposting the Modern Family official account with a series of emojis under the photo. The image captures Willard from the show as Frank Dunphy, father of Phil (Ty Burrell) and grandfather to Winter's Alex Dunphy.

Others to chime in include Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet, who both wished the comedic legend well and to rest in peace before discussing how honored they were to work with Willard.

"You will always be a true original and I am so honored that our lives intersected. No one will ever come close to replacing your genius," Ferguson wrote, while Stonestreet added that it was a "privilege' to have the comedy legend know his name.

Vergara posted a crying face emoji herself along with a link to an obituary for Willard. Her TV son Rico Rodriguez also chimed in to bid farewell to "one of our family members."

"It was always a pleasure having you on set. Thank you for the laughs! You will be missed, Mr. Willard," Rodriguez wrote followed by a broken heart and praying hands emoji,

Willard was also given a great sendoff from the series in its last season. In the episode titled "Legacy," Phil Dunphy becomes concerned his father is suffering from dementia and visits him in Florida to spend one great day together. The dementia storyline was a red herring but Willard's character did pass away from old age in the series, with the final moments revealing Phil was telling his story from the funeral.


Modern Family will be re-airing Willard's final episode later on May 26 for fans who missed it earlier in the season.