In Memoriam: Fred Willard
Man, I was sure saddened to hear that Fred Willard had died. I loved that guy. I’m a big fan of the Christopher Guest mockumentary films, movies like BEST IN SHOW, WAITING FOR GUFFMAN, and A MIGHTY WIND, of which Mr. Willard was a stalwart. I, like most folks, I’d wager, thought first and foremost of Mr. Willard’s Comedy roles when I started thinking back on his cinematic legacy. And it’s true that he was a comic genius, infusing any role he played with a warmth and earnestness in addition to inspiring the occasional belly laugh. (I to this day will occasionally mimic his line from A MIGHTY WIND, “Wha happened?!”) But the guy had some serous Horror cred, too.
Don’t forget that Willard appeared in SALEM’S LOT—and regular readers will already know the effect that TV miniseries had upon my life. He portrayed Larry Crockett, the real estate agent who is killed by Kurt Barlow, aka the Big Evil—and this fact alone is sufficient to secure Fred Willard’s Geek Cred forever. Mr. Willard was also in IDLE HANDS, and while he was fine in it, as he was always good in whatever project in which he appeared, it’s probably better not to focus on that one. WE’ll concentrate on SALEM’S LOT instead.
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced, and directed (and occasionally acted in) over two dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and True Crime genres. He obtained a doctorate in Occult Studies from Miskatonic University and is an active paranormal investigator. Is frequently told he resembles Anton Lavey. And Ming the Merciless.
Denn die totden reiten schnell!