Veteran actor and comedian Fred Willard was arrested for lewd conduct Wednesday night at a movie theater in Hollywood.
According to TMZ, the “Anchorman” actor was caught with his pants down in the Tiki Theater in Hollywood when LAPD undercover vice officers went into the theater. The local authorities told TMZ that they were not conducting a raid of the theater, just a random walk-through, which they are permitted to do as stated in the theater’s license agreement.
Willard was reportedly arrested around 8:45 p.m. and booked for lewd conduct. LAPD representatives told TMZ that the actor was only held in police custody for a short while and released later that night.
PBS told The New York Times on Thursday (July 19) that due to the incident, Willard will no longer be the narrator of “Market Warriors,” a new show that is a spinoff of “Antiques Roadshow.”
Reps for Willard have yet to comment on the incident.
Willard is best known for his comedic work on television and in films like “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “King of the Hill,” “Modern Family,” “This Is Spinal Tap,” “Roxanne,” “Waiting for Guffman,” “Best in Show,” “American Wedding,” “Anchorman,” “Wall-E,” and “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle.”
While most sources indicate Willard is 72, TMZ reports that “official records” show the actor is 78. He is not the first celebrity to have been arrested for lewd conduct. George Michael was famously arrested and sentenced for a lewd act in a Beverly Hills bathroom in 1998, which prompted Michael to officially declare his long-speculated homosexuality during an interview with CNN. Paul Reubens (a.k.a. Pee-wee Herman) faced a similar media storm when he was arrested at an adult theater in 1991 for indecent exposure. Although their celebrity images were blemished for a time after the incidents, both celebrities have continued to work in their respective fields.
Willard is rumored to be involved with an upcoming comedy called “The Yank.”