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Fred Willard Received Standing Ovation From Crew After Filming One Of His Last Ever Scenes

Fred Willard Received Standing Ovation From Crew After Filming One Of His Last Ever Scenes

Fred Willard received a standing ovation from the cast while filming of one of his final ever performances.

Willard will appear posthumously in the upcoming Netflix comedy Space Force, created by Steve Carell and Greg Daniels.

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In a recent interview with LADbible, Daniels revealed that during filming of the new show, Willard pulled off an impressive piece of improvisation that had the cast in awe.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Daniels told LADbible: "I was on the set for his scene that he did in our first episode and of course I had known of his reputation for being a brilliant improviser and even at the age of 86, he was completely sharp.

"At the end - once we got it, after a few takes - the director Paul King said to him, 'just do whatever you want, Fred' and he went on this run for three or four minutes that was utter brilliance. We used all of it in the show and he got a standing ovation from the crew, which never happens. I've never seen that - just in the middle of the day.

"I think he had a good time [during filming] and it was definitely a highlight of our show. I'm very sad about his passing as is everyone who worked with him. I think he has an undiminished record of brilliant performances."

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Willard died of natural causes on 15 May - his daughter Hope confirmed the sad news in a statement, which read: "My father passed away very peacefully last night at the fantastic age of 86 years old. He kept moving, working and making us happy until the very end. We loved him so very much! We will miss him forever."

Willard starred in numerous comedy movies, including Anchorman. Credit: Dreamworks
Willard starred in numerous comedy movies, including Anchorman. Credit: Dreamworks

His agent Michael Eisenstadt called him a 'comedic genius' and praised the star for work ethic.

Eisenstadt said: "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 Carell'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."

You can see Fred in his posthumous role in Space Force on Netflix from 29 May.

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Topics: TV and Film, Netflix

Claire Reid

Claire is a journalist at LADbible who, after dossing around for a few years, went to Liverpool John Moores University. She graduated with a degree in Journalism and a whole load of debt. When not writing words in exchange for money she is usually at home watching serial killer documentaries surrounded by cats. You can contact Claire at ed[email protected]