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HomeEntertainmentFred Ward, rugged character actor from 'The Right Stuff' and 'Tremors,' dies

Fred Ward, rugged character actor from 'The Right Stuff' and 'Tremors,' dies


Fred Ward, the rough-hewn character actor recognized for his work in “The Proper Stuff” and “Remo Williams: The Journey Begins,” died Sunday at age 79.

Publicist Ron Hofmann confirmed the information Friday, giving no additional particulars in regards to the Golden Globe winner’s dying.

Ward’s profession selections have been something however predictable. After battling flesh-eating subterranean monsters alongside Kevin Bacon within the cult-favorite flick “Tremors” (1990), he performed erotic novelist Henry Miller in “Henry & June” that very same yr. Roles in “The Participant” and “Brief Cuts” adopted, with the latter movie incomes him a bit of a special-recognition Golden Globe award in 1994.

Ward was born on Dec. 30, 1942, in San Diego. His father was in jail the day he was born, based on the actor. Ward moved round quite a bit as a baby, together with to Louisiana and Texas.

“You carry the bags of your childhood with you till you’ll be able to step right into a Zen area and objectify it,” Ward instructed The Occasions in 1990. “There are particular parts of want — the necessity for acceptance — from my childhood that gave me the drive that an actor has to have.”

As he matured, he labored as a short-order cook dinner, a development employee, a boxer and a lumberjack in Alaska. He spent three years within the U.S. Air Drive as nicely, then made his manner into performing in New York within the early Seventies. Early roles included small components on TV in addition to roles in productions of two of Sam Shepard’s early performs in San Francisco.

Fred Ward and his spouse, Marie-France Ward, attend the premiere of the movie “30 Minutes or Much less” in Hollywood in 2011.

(Eric Charbonneau / Invision / Related Press)

“Fred Ward was seemingly incapable of being inauthentic. His characters felt like they lived a full life and we’re solely seeing part of it and that’s a magic trick achieved proper in entrance of you and really fortunately captured in mild eternally,” tweeted fellow actor Diedrich Bader.

His former co-star Kate Mulgrew additionally paid tribute Friday.

“I mourn the lack of Fred Ward, who was so variety to me once we labored collectively on Remo Williams,” Mulgrew tweeted. “First rate and modest and totally skilled, he disarmed with a smile that was without delay heat and mischievous.”

Ward’s first main movie position was within the 1979 film “Escape From Alcatraz,” starring Clint Eastwood. And Ward would go on to star alongside Shepard in 1983’s “The Proper Stuff,” the place he performed astronaut Gus Grissom within the adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s bestseller. That movie, which gained 4 Oscars off of its eight nominations, gave Ward’s profession an enormous enhance.

When “Remo Williams: The Journey Begins” got here out in 1985, Occasions movie critic Jack Mathews referred to as Ward “essentially the most fascinating motion star to emerge from the films this yr.” The actor had signed on for 3 “Remo Williams” films however made solely the one.

Not lengthy after that, Ward had a small however memorable position within the 1988 comedy “Huge Enterprise,” taking part in Roone, the hunky country-bumpkin love curiosity of Lily Tomlin’s characters.

Ward additionally executive-produced a movie, “Miami Blues,” launched in 1990. He had purchased the rights to the supply materials, Charles Willeford’s e-book of the identical identify, a number of years earlier. The film, which starred Ward alongside a younger Alec Baldwin, lastly obtained made after director-screenwriter George Armitage wrote the script on spec and Jonathan Demme got here onboard as supervising producer and guardian angel.

“The darkish humor actually appealed to me. And this random, abrupt violence,” Ward instructed The Occasions when the “Miami Blues” was launched.

“It may be humorous after which sink into this ugly place,” he added. “It displays my view of the world.”

Ward’s résumé additionally included various TV appearances on reveals together with “True Detective,” “Gray’s Anatomy” and “ER.” In his later years, with greater than 80 movie and TV credit beneath his belt, Ward explored portray, a passion his publicist referred to as the actor’s “second favourite artwork kind.”

“Devastated to study in regards to the passing of my pal, Fred Ward,” tweeted actor Matthew Modine. “I had absolutely the pleasure of working with this excellent man in Robert Altman’s Shortcuts and Alan Rudolph’s Equinox. A tricky facade overlaying feelings as deep as a the Pacific Ocean. Godspeed amigo.”

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





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