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OTRC: Fred Willard arrested for alleged lewd conduct in adult theater

Fred Willard appears in an interview with KABC Television in July 2012. / A picture of the Tiki Theatre, as seen in March 2010. (KABC / flickr.com/photos/toestubber/)

Fred Willard, a character actor known for roles in comedy movies such as "Anchorman," "Best In Show" and "This Is Spinal Tap," was recently arrested on suspicion of carrying out a lewd act in an adult movie theater in Hollywood.

The 72-year-old's lawyer says the actor did not violate any laws. Willard was booked at 8:50 p.m. on Wednesday, July 18, after an officer caught him with his pants down in a public area in the Tiki Theatre, a police spokesperson said in a statement obtained by OnTheRedCarpet.com. It is a popular venue for pornographic films.

Willard was jailed for several hours before he was released on $500 bail. No booking photo was released by police. The actor is expected to appear in court at a future date to answer to the misdemeanor charge.

"With all due respect to the individual officer, our belief that Fred did nothing in any violation of any law," his lawyer, Paul Takakjian, told OnTheRedCarpet.com in a statement. "We will be working vigorously to clear his name in this matter."

Willard, a native of Ohio, lives in the Los Angeles area with his wife Mary. The two have been married for about 40 years and have a daughter. Willard began his on-screen career in the 1960s. He is one of the most recognized, scene-stealing supporting actors in movies and television.

In the 1984 cult mockumentary "This Is Spinal Tap," he plays a military colonel. Co-star Christopher Guest directed "Best In Show," another film in the genre, in which Willard portrays a dog show announcer. He also stars in Guest's films "Waiting for Guffman" and "For Your Consideration.

Willard has also appeared in movies such as "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle" and Disney-Pixar's 2008 animated hit "WALL·E." He is also set to star in a new movie called "The Yank," which is about an Irish-American who travels to Ireland find love.

The actor played Hank MacDougall, Robert Barone's brother-in-law, on the CBS sitcom "Everybody Loves Raymond" and earned three Emmy nominations for his performance. He also received a nod for his guest role as Phil Dunphy's father on the ABC comedy series "Modern Family."

Willard has also appeared in scores of other shows, such as "Mad About You," "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman," "Undeclared" and the Disney Channel' series "Wizards of Waverly Place." The actor is often featured on late-night talk shows such as "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" as a character in comedy skits.

Willard's most recent TV role was as the host of ABC's new improv comedy show, "Trust Us With Your Life," which premiered on July 10. A network spokesperson told OnTheRedCarpet.com on Wednesday that the remaining episodes, which have already been taped, will continue to air. The next is scheduled for July 24.

Paul Reubens' hit children's series, "Pee-wee's Playhouse," was canceled soon after he was arrested in 1991 on charges of indecent exposure at an adult movie theater. He pleaded no contest and paid a $75 fine. About 10 years later, the character actor was arrested for possession of child pornography. The charges were dropped after he pleaded guilty to obscenity as part of a plea deal.

He later had roles on television but did not reprise his role as Pee-wee Herman until 2009, when he started to make a major career comeback. Since then, he played the character on talk shows, in a Broadway play in 2011 and on an episode of "Top Chef."

Update 7/19/2012 at 3 p.m. -- Willard has been dropped by PBS as host and narrator for the show "Market Warriors."