Fred Willard, Lynn Shelton Earn Posthumous Emmy Nominations

Fred Willard and Lynn Shelton Split-Getty-H 2020
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Willard was nominated as guest in actor in a comedy series for his role as Frank Dunphy in 'Modern Family.' Shelton was nominated for her directing work on 'Little Fires Everywhere.'

Fred Willard and director Lynn Shelton have received posthumous 72nd Emmy Awards nominations.

Willard, who died in May, was nominated in the guest in actor in a comedy series category for his role as Frank Dunphy, the kind, tender and goofy father of Phil Dunphy, in Modern Family. He made his original appearance on the show in its first season, during the mid-season holiday-themed "Undeck the Halls" episode.

His final appearance, and the one for which he is nominated, saw the show saying goodbye to Willard's character onscreen in an episode entitled "Legacy." His finale storyline saw the Dunphy men spending one last day together before Frank passed on. Willard's final onscreen role was as Fred Naird, the father of Steve Carell's General Mark Naird in Netflix's Space Force.

This will mark Willard's fifth Emmy nomination during his more than 50-year career and the second for his role in Modern Family. Before that, Willard had received three Emmy nominations between 2003 and 2005 for his role as Hank MacDougall on Everybody Loves Raymond.

Also nominated in the guest in actor in a comedy series category are Luke Kurby (Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Dev Patel (Modern Love), Adam Driver (Saturday Night Live), Eddie Murphy (Saturday Night Live) and Brad Pitt (Saturday Night Live).

Shelton were also nominated in the directing for a limited series, movie, or dramatic special category for her work on Hulu's Little Fires Everywhere. Shelton directed four episodes of the critically acclaimed series, including the finale "Find A Way," for which she received her nomination. This was Shelton's last directing credit before her death in May at the age of 54.

Her small-screen legacy spanned several high-profile projects, including Little Fires Everywhere, The Morning Show, Dickinson, GLOW, Shameless, Fresh off the Boat, The Mindy Project, New Girl and Mad Men

Also nominated in the category are Lenny Abrahamson (Normal People), Maria Schrader (Unorthodox), Nicole Kassell (Watchmen), Steph Green (Watchmen) and Stephen Williams (Watchmen).

Throughout the ceremony's history, six actors have ever won posthumous awards, a small group that includes Ingrid Bergman, Audrey Hepburn, Raul Julia, Diana Hyland, Marion Lorne and Alice Pearce. Only a handful of directors have also received a posthumous nomination, including John Frankenheimer and Jonathan Demme. This year's posthumous nod for Shelton doubles as her first Emmy nomination.

The 72nd Emmy Awards nominations were held on July 28, 2020, presented by Leslie Jones, Josh Gad, Tatiana Maslany and Laverne Cox.