Fred Willard's death has spurred numerous tributes, including one from the now infamous Roseanne actress Roseanne Barr. Willard memorably appeared in eight episodes of Roseanne Barr's sitcom Roseanne, where he played Scott. This history together, as well as camaraderie as comedic actors, drew Barr to speak out on Willard's Friday death.
In a simple tweet tribute posted on Saturday night, Barr paid her respects, calling Willard "A great comic," as well as "a great person." It has been liked more than 4,000 times, with Roseanne fans chiming in with favorite memories of the late star, who was 86 at the time of his death.
RIP Fred Willard! A great comic and a great person #FredWillard— Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne) May 17, 2020
Barr was not the only member of the Roseanne family to speak out about Willard's death. Michael Fishman, who played D.J. Conner on Roseanne and The Conners, also shared some thoughts. He praised the beloved acting legend as "amazingly talented." He also added, "Every week we shared together on Roseanne he was kind, funny, and caring. My condolences to his friends and family."
The Best in Show and Modern Family actor's death was made public on Saturday. Jamie Lee Curtis, who is married to longtime Willard collaborator Christopher Guest, first broke the news on her Twitter account, writing, "How lucky that we all got to enjoy Fred Willard's gifts. He is with his missed Mary [Willard, his late wife,] now. Thanks for the deep belly laughs Mr. Willard."
Willard's daughter Hope soon confirmed Curtis' message, saying he "passed away very peacefully" overnight. Hope praised her father's continued work ethic and comedic sensibilities "until the very end."
His agent, Mike Eisenstadt, also issued a statement to PopCulture.com: "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. 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."
No details on any sort of memorial service or funeral have surfaced yet. Additionally, Willard's cause of death was said to be natural causes, but no exact medical condition has been stated. For more updates on Willard's passing, including more tributes from peers, stay tuned here.