04/01/2013 12:00 pm ET Updated Apr 01, 2013

'Modern Family' Death: Phil Dunphy Loses His Mom, Fred Willard To Return

Put the laughs on hold, "Modern Family" fans: Phil Dunphy's getting some sad news.

According to TV Guide Magazine
, Dunphy family patriarch Phil (Ty Burrell) will lose his mom on an upcoming episode of the ABC comedy airing sometime in May.

Although "Modern Family" viewers have never met Phil's mother, the episode will see the return of his father Frank, played by Fred Willard. The actor received an Emmy nomination in 2010 for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his "Modern Family" appearances.

AOL TV spoke with Willard then when he first started appearing on the series and asked who should play his on-screen wife and Phil's mom. "I thought maybe Jennifer Coolidge would be great. Catherine O'Hara," he said. "And something I also thought would be a great plot point if I separated from my wife, maybe I'd get together with Shelley Long, who made a great appearance on the show [as the mother to Claire (Julie Bowen) and (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Jay (Ed O'Neill's) ex-wife]. I know Shelley. We've been friends for a long time and I think she's just great and it'd be great if we met and sparked a little romance. I'd take her away in my camper."

For more on the death of Phil's mom, click over to TV Guide Magazine.

"Modern Family" airs on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

'Modern Family'


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