Hollywood recently lost the great comedian Fred Willard, who died on May 15 at age 86. He was loved for his comedic work in the films of Christopher Guest and on shows like “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Modern Family” and the upcoming “Space Force.” But the one Emmy he received during his life was actually for a drama — the daytime drama “The Bold and the Beautiful” to be exact. Take a look back at his backstage interview with Michael Fairman above.
Willard won Best Special Guest Performer at the 2015 Daytime Emmys for appearing in a few episodes of “B&B” as John Forrester, the brother of the show’s patriarch Eric (John McCook). That was the first year the national television academy presented an award for guest stars since 1987, and it had a surprising result: Willard won in a three-way tie with Donna Mills (“General Hospital“) and Ray Wise (“The Young and the Restless“).
“I didn’t know what to expect,” Willard told Fairman. “It was a great honor to be with the other nominees. I have always wanted to be on a soap opera because I thought it would be so exciting to do a bunch of little one-act plays. They move very quick, and it was great fun.” He said he might call his daughter first with the good news: “I was nominated for a couple of Primetime Emmys and I didn’t get it, and she seemed to be very annoyed that I didn’t win it.”
Willard received four Primetime Emmy bids for Best Comedy Guest Actor: three for “Everybody Loves Raymond” (2003-2005) and one for “Modern Family” (2010). He also had a previous Daytime Emmy bid for Best Talk or Service Host for “What’s Hot, What’s Not” back in 1986. But that victory for “B&B” when he was 81-years-old was the first time the veteran took home the gold.
It’s still possible that Willard will be recognized one last time by his peers since he’ll be posthumously eligible this year for his aforementioned appearances on both “Modern Family” and “Space Force.” Will the television academy finally award him for his comedy as a final tribute to the actor?
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