Modern Family said goodbye to a beloved member of the Dunphy family during Wednesday’s episode.
In the Jan. 15 installment, titled “Legacy,” Phil paid a visit to his dad Frank (recurring guest star Fred Willard) to make sure he was ok after hearing some concerning news about him. Frank had been found wandering through a grocery store for hours, leading Phil to suspect that his father had dementia. Though Phil’s hunch was incorrect, Frank would eventually die off screen.
“When I was growing up, he was the cool dad,” Phil said. “He was hip. He knew all the dances from Grease [and] he knew all the expressions — BFF: Best Friends Forever, TMI: Too Much Information, BJ: Blue Jeans…” (Hmm… sound familiar?)
“We didn’t do much that [last] day, but it might have been one of the best days I’ve ever had with my dad,” Phil continued. “I just didn’t know it would be the last.”
The episode then cut to Phil as he eulogized Frank at a small gathering surrounded by loved ones. “Don’t miss a chance to let the people you appreciate know that,” he said.
All told, Willard’s Frank Dunphy appeared in a total of 14 episodes across Modern Family‘s 11-season run. He and TV son Ty Burrell previously co-starred on the short-lived Fox comedy Back to You, opposite Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton.
Modern Family has just seven episodes to go before the Dunphy/Pritchett clan signs off for good. The series finale of Emmy-winning comedy is set to air Wednesday, April 8.
Were you sad to see Modern Family kill off Frank? Hit the comments with your reactions to the episode.