Born and raised in Shaker Heights, Ohio, FRED WILLARD began his career by spending a year at Chicago's famed Second City.
Willard's improvisational performance as Buck Laughlin in Best in Show earned him the Boston Society of Film Critic's Award for Best Supporting Actor, and an American Comedy Award for funniest performance by a supporting actor as well as nominations for Best Supporting Actor from the New York Film Critics and The National Film Critic's Society, and a Official Selection Award from AFI.
Fred appeared in the previous Christopher Guest film, Waiting for Guffman which earned him an American Comedy Award nomination and a Screen Actor's Guild nomination for Funniest Supporting Actor. Additional film credits include This Is Spinal Tap, Roxanne, The Wedding Planner, How High, American Pie 3, A Mighty Wind, and Anchorman, with Will Ferrel.
Willard has received two Emmy nominations for his role as Martin Mull's gay lover on Roseanne and his recurring role on Everybody Loves Raymond.
Fred also co-starred with Martin Mull in Norman Lear's innovative cult classic talk show satire Fernwood 2-Night, which aired recently on Nick At Nite and was celebrated at the Museum of Television & Radio and the HBO Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen. Fred has also had recurring roles on Ally McBeal, The Simpsons, and Mad About You. In addition he has made more than 50 appearances on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
Willard has numerous stage roles to his credit, including off-Broadway performances in Little Murders, directed by Alan Arkin and Arf, directed by Richard Benjamin. Some of his regional roles include Call Me Madam in Chicago, and in Los Angeles for the Reprise! series, the musicals Promises, Promises with Jason Alexander, and Anything Goes with Rachel York . He starred in Wendy Wasserstein's Isn't It Romantic and Elvis and Juliet, which was written by his wife Mary. He recently completed a sold-out run of his "one-man show," Fred Willard: Alone at Last! (actually a sketch show with a cast of 12) and received two Los Angeles Artistic Director Awards for Best Comedy and Best Production.