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Actor denies 'lewd act' in cinema

Actor Fred Willard, perhaps best-known as a dog-show announcer in the film Best In Show, has said his arrest for an alleged lewd act at a Hollywood adult cinema was a "misunderstanding".

The 72-year-old actor was sacked from his work on a TV series following the arrest on Thursday.

Uniformed vice officers on a routine investigation of the cinema shortly before 9pm local time saw Willard, who appeared to be alone, engaging in the act, Los Angeles police sergeant Mark Ro said.

Willard, 72, was booked at the Hollywood police station on suspicion of committing a lewd act in public. Sgt Ro said Willard was released after midnight without posting bail.

By Thursday night Willard had lost his job narrating Market Warriors, produced by Boston public television station WGBH.

Mark Walberg, the host of Antiques Roadshow, is to re-narrate the four episodes already been produced.

In a video posted by celebrity website TMZ, Willard said it was a misunderstanding and denied wrongdoing. Willard's lawyer Paul Takakjian said he was gathering more information and declined to comment further.

ABC plans to continue broadcasting its series Trust Us With Your Life, which is hosted by Willard and has four shows that have not yet aired.

Willard was nominated four times for Emmys for guest roles on TV's Modern Family and Everybody Loves Raymond. In Pixar's 2008 hit WALL-E, he played Shelby Forthright, the CEO of a ubiquitous big-box chain called Buy'n'Large.

In addition to Best In Show, Willard has also appeared in other Christopher Guest mockumentary films, including This Is Spinal Tap and Waiting For Guffman.

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