Hollywood Offers Support to Fred Willard After Wife Mary Dies at 71: 'We Are Here for You'

Fred Willard and Mary had been married since 1968 and had one daughter, Hope

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Photo: Eric Charbonneau/REX/Shutterstock

Fred Willard‘s famous friends are lending support to the Best in Show star after his wife Mary died Friday. She was 71.

The 78-year-old actor and Mary had been married since 1968 and had one daughter, Hope, 49. Their only grandchild, Freddie, was born in 1997.

Though details of her death are unknown, author and actress Vicki Abelson wrote a loving tribute to Mary on Facebook the day of her passing where she outlined their last interactions in the previous days. Abelson says Mary had confided in her about her upcoming medical procedures.

“I reached out to Mary Willard on Monday to see if she and Fred could jump in for Carl Reiner on Wednesday’s show. She told me she was having an angiogram that day prior to further upcoming surgery,” Abelson wrote on Facebook. “I wrote back and told her I was putting a note in my God Can and sending love and prayers. I got a beautiful note back. Late afternoon on Wednesday I received a group email from Mary with the subject, ‘I am okay’ with a wonderful note of gratitude. To say today’s news of her passing is shocking is an insane understatement.”


Celebrity friends also sent Willard love on Twitter, including Sarah Silverman and Jane Lynch.

“I was so shocked and saddened to hear about Mary Willard’s passing,” actress Alana Stewart wrote. “She was a loving and powerful force in so many people’s lives, including mine. My heart and my prayers go out to her family and friends. There was no one like her!”

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