Bachelor Nation Mourns Fred Willard: A Look Back at His Appearances
Prolific actor and comedian Fred Willard passed away Friday, May 15, at age 86. While Willard is well-known for his roles in "Best in Show" and "Modern Family," he also played a memorable part in recent "Bachelor" and "Bachelorette" seasons.
Chris Harrison memorialized Willard in an Instagram post Sunday with photos from the actor's appearances over the years. Chris began his tribute, "We lost a legend today. I’ll never forget back in 2017 during @ariejr season I found out, for some reason, Fred Willard had accepted our offer to co-host a group date with me. We all instantly fell in love with this kind, giving, talented man."
His caption went on, "After that day we agreed we’d keep asking Fred to come back as long as we could. Season after season he came back. He became a part of our Bachelor family. He will be dearly missed by all of us that looked forward to seeing him each season. After that day we agreed we’d keep asking Fred to come back as long as we could."
Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.
Harrison's note concluded, "The world lost a true gentleman. My thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family. Fred the next group date just won’t be the same without you. May God bless your soul my friend #RIP."
Willard made his "Bachelor" debut in 2017 on Arie Luyendyk Jr.'s season as a guest judge on a group date and returned the following "Bachelor" and "Bachelorette" seasons.
It all began when Willard and Harrison provided commentary for Arie’s Amazing Acrodogs group date, which involved the ladies on the date attempting tricks with dogs. "Best in Show" prepared Willard perfectly for the opportunity, and the duo did not disappoint.
Willard returned for Becca Kufrin's season of "The Bachelorette" to judge a dodgeball date and later on Colton Underwood's season to give his take on the "'Bachelor's' Strongest Woman" contest.
Rebecca and Terry Crews hosted the grueling group date, but Willard and Harrison analyzed techniques and strategies. The same went for when Willard joined Hannah Brown’s season of "The Bachelorette" on her roller derby day and then on Peter Weber's pillow fight outing.
No matter the challenge, Willard always brought a smile to Harrison’s face and brightened the episode. His humor, joy, and vivacity were always palpable through the television screen.
Watch the videos below to see more of his appearances over the years.