Fred Willard And Director Lynn Shelton Earn Posthumous Emmy Nominations For ‘Modern Family’ And ‘Little Fires Everywhere’

Director Lynn Shelton and actor Fred Willard

This morning, actor Fred Willard and director Lynn Shelton earned posthumous Emmy nominations, for their respective contributions to ABC sitcom Modern Family and Hulu drama Little Fires Everywhere.

A beloved comedic talent with a 54-year screen career, Willard was previously nominated three times for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series, for his turn as Hank in Everybody Loves Raymond. Part of the Modern Family cast since 2009, Willard died in May, after succumbing to cardiac arrest. The actor was 86 years old.

Equally esteemed within the communities of film and television, Shelton directed four episodes out of Little Fires Everywhere‘s eight, landing her first-ever nod for season finale, “Find A Way.” Renowned for indie films like Your Sister’s Sister, as well as her wide-ranging efforts in television—on series including DickinsonGLOWFresh Off the Boat, The Good Place and Mad Men—Shelton also passed away in May, at age 54, due to a blood disorder. Her parents, Wendy Roedell and David ‘Mac’ Shelton issued a statement after this morning’s nomination: “That Lynn is honored by the Television Academy is not only a tribute to her accomplishments as a director but her style of directing. Always in control but kind-hearted. Making the final decisions but always soliciting input from her colleagues. Colleagues, yes, that is how she regarded everyone on the set, from grips and gaffers and set and costume designers to the director of photography and the actors. This is an honor for the ultimate collaborationist who knew that she would produce her best if she teased the best out of her teammates.”

Kerry Washington, nominated as an actress and EP for the show, reserved a portion of her reaction statement too to praise Shelton. “I’m so incredibly grateful that the Television Academy has chosen to honor Lynn with this very deserved nomination. I know she’s celebrating in the beyond,” she wrote.

Mark Duplass—nominated for The Morning Show—worked with Shelton on her film Your Sister’s Sister and said of her nomination: “Lynn doesn’t need any validation for the world to know how incredibly talented she was, and how incredibly giving she was, but it’s really beautiful in particular to get this nomination for her. We finally got her ‘Of a certain Age’ grant together that’s going to give $25k to a filmmaker, ideally a female or non-binary filmmaker over the age of 40. So all of this stuff is swirling around to continue her legacy, which is really beautiful.”

Created by Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan, Modern Family centers on three very different, yet related families, each facing the highs and lows of life in their own uniquely funny ways. Willard played Frank Dunphy, father of Ty Burrell’s Phil. Earning 85 Emmy nominations since its 2009 debut—with nods this year for directing and sound mixing—the series came to a close in April.

Developed by Liz Tigelaar, based on a book by Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere examines the intertwined fates of two families situated in Shaker Heights, Ohio. The drama earned additional nominations today for Limited Series, Original Music & Lyrics, Original Dramatic Score and Lead Actress, with Kerry Washington competing in the latter category.

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