Actor Fred Ward, of ‘Tremors,’ ‘The Right Stuff’ fame, dies

NEW YORK (AP) — Fred Ward, a veteran actor who introduced a gruff tenderness to tough-guy roles in such movies as “The Right Stuff,” “The Player” and “Tremors,” has died. He was 79.

Ward died Sunday, his publicist Ron Hofmann mentioned Friday. No trigger or place of dying was disclosed per the household’s needs.

Ward earned a Golden Globe and shared the Venice Film Festival ensemble prize for his efficiency in Robert Altman’s “Short Cuts,” and performed the title character in “Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins.” He additionally reached new heights taking part in Mercury 7 astronaut Virgil “Gus” Grissom in 1983′s Academy Award-nominated movie “The Right Stuff.”

“Devastated to learn about the passing of my friend, Fred Ward,” tweeted actor Matthew Modine, who co-starred with Ward in “Short Cuts” and Alan Rudolph’s “Equinox.” “A tough façade covering emotions as deep as the Pacific Ocean. Godspeed amigo.”

A former boxer, lumberjack in Alaska and short-order prepare dinner who served within the U.S. Air Force, Ward was a San Diego native who was half Cherokee. One early large function was alongside Clint Eastwood in 1979’s “Escape From Alcatraz.”

“I mourn the loss of Fred Ward, who was so kind to me when we worked together on ‘Remo Williams,’” actor Kate Mulgrew tweeted. “Decent and modest and utterly professional, he disarmed with a smile that was at once warm and mischievous.”

Ward’s different roles included a rumpled cop chasing a psychotic felony performed by Alec Baldwin in George Armitage’s “Miami Blues.” He was a formidable and intimidating father to each Freddie Prinze Jr.’s character in “Summer Catch” and David Spade’s title character in “Joe Dirt.”

Ward performed President Ronald Reagan within the 2009 Cold War espionage thriller “Farewell” and had a supporting function within the 2013 motion flick “2 Guns,” starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg.

In the horror-comedy “Tremors,” Ward paired with Kevin Bacon to play a pair of repairmen who find yourself saving a hardscrabble Nevada desert neighborhood beset by big underground snakes.

With the sexually charged, NC-17 “Henry & June,” Ward confirmed extra than simply grit. Based on the e-book by Anais Nin and directed by Philip Kaufman, Ward performed novelist Henry Miller, reverse Nin and his spouse, June. “My rear end seemed to have something to do with (that rating),” he instructed The Washington Post.

He additionally reteamed with Altman for the a part of a studio safety chief within the director’s 1992 Hollywood satire “The Player,” and performed a union activist and Meryl Streep’s workmate in Mike Nichols’ “Silkwood” in 1983.

Ward demonstrated his comedy chops taking part in a terrorist intent on blowing up the Academy Awards in “Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult” in 1994.

On the small display screen, he had recurring roles on NBC’s “ER” taking part in the daddy of Maura Tierney’s Abby Lockhart in 2006-2007 and visitor starred on such collection as “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Leverage” and “United States of Tara.” Ward most just lately appeared within the second season of HBO’s “True Detective” because the retired cop father of Colin Farrell’s Detective Ray Velcoro.

Ward is survived by his spouse of 27 years, Marie-France Ward and his son, Django Ward.

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