Fred Willard to Appear in Netflix's 'Space Force' in First Posthumous Role

Longtime comedic actor Fred Willard passed away Friday at the age of 86. Fans were saddened by the news, but received some positivity in the form of another television appearance. Willard's agent revealed that he will be appearing in Netflix's Space Force in his first posthumous role.

"Fred was one of the busiest comedic actors in a career which lasted over 50 years. He had recently completed his Emmy nominated recurring role on Modern Family and can be seen later this month in his recurring role as Steve Carrell's dad in the Netflix series Space Force," Willard's agent Michael Eisenstadt said in an email. "Jimmy Kimmel had Fred recur on his show on an average of every two weeks doing comedic sketches until the stay at home order began. Fred truly enjoyed each role and gave each performance his own special spin. He was truly a comedic genius."

Space Force is scheduled to be released on May 29, giving Netflix viewers another streaming option amid their time in quarantine. The 10-episode series was first confirmed in January after President Donald Trump's revealed his idea for a space force as the sixth branch of the military. The series will star Steve Carell, marking his return to TV since his long run on The Office. Friends alum Lisa Kudrow will star as Carell's wife. Space Force also stars John Malkovich, Diana Silvers, Tawny Newsome, Ben Schwartz, Jimmy O. Yang, Noah Emmerich, Alex Sparrow and Don Lake.

Netflix recently released the first trailer for Space Force, providing a glimpse at the plot. Willard was briefly shown, standing in a bathrobe and having a conversation on the phone. His dialogue was not audible due to "Kokomo" by the Beach Boys serving as the soundtrack for the trailer.


Carell has since responded to the news of Willard's death. "Fred Willard was the funniest person that I've ever worked with. He was a sweet, wonderful man," he tweeted on Saturday afternoon. He was joined by several other actors paying tribute to someone that gained a number of fans with appearances on Modern Family, The Odd Couple and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.

Space Force is executive produced by Carell and Greg Daniels alongside 3 Arts' Howard Klein. The series will mark their first reunion since their collaboration The Office. The series will be available for streaming on Friday, May 29, providing viewers with their another Willard role to appreciate.