Fred Ward is dead! Died at the age of 79
News of his death spread Friday on Twitter with Rolling Stone editor Alan Sepinwall.
Fred Ward, the veteran character actor best known for his various roles in "Tremors," "The Right Stuff" and Robert Altman's "Short Cuts," has died. He lived to the age of 79.
A representative for Ward confirmed to The Post that he died May 8.
"I am saddened to announce the passing of acclaimed actor Fred Ward, who passed away on Sunday, May 8, 2022 at the age of 79," the statement reads. "The Golden Globe-winning actor and producer was best known for 'The Right Stuff,' 'Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins,' 'Tremors,' 'Miami Blues,' 'Henry & June,' 'The Player' and 'Short Cuts.'"
The representative did not confirm a cause of death, but did announce his final wishes.
"It was Fred Ward's wish that all memorials take the form of donations to the Boston University Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center," he said. Please visit trusted.bu.edu or contact 617-358-9535 for more information."
Ward spent the last years of his life developing his second favorite art form: painting, according to his representative.
Fred Ward is survived by his wife, Marie-France Ward, to whom he was married for 27 years, and his son, Django Ward.
"RIP, Fred Ward, a great character actor whose big shot at leading man status, Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, was unfortunately a flop, but who delivered great, vibrant performances for the rest of his career," he wrote.
Film critic Robert Daniels also shared his condolences, writing, "Fred Ward was absurdly good. A pro at everything he did, from TREMORS to THE PLAYER. He could even give a great performance in something as obviously stupid as JOE DIRT. Totally underrated."
Ward began his career in 1979 alongside Clint Eastwood as his sidekick in a prison break in "Escape from Alcatraz." Before his breakthrough, the San Diego-born actor performed in cabarets in Europe and North Africa, according to Turner Classic Movies, before coming to Los Angeles, where he eked out a living selling jewelry on the street.
After his "Alcatraz" success, he starred in action comedies such as "Southern Comfort" (1981), "Timerider: The Adventures of Lyle Swann" (1982) and "Uncommon Valor" (1983).
Walter Hill's "Southern Comfort" (1981), a creepy tale of macho part-time National Guardsmen who find themselves in danger in the Louisiana bay area; "Timerider: The Adventures of Lyle Swann" (1982), in which he plays a motocross racer who is transferred to the Wild West; and "Uncommon Valor" (1983).
After working in television in the '80s and '90s, he landed a role alongside Kevin Bacon in "Tremors" and starred in the sequel "Tremors 2: Aftershocks." He also starred in fan favorites such as "Exit Speed," "The Punisher," "Joe Dirt" and "Sweet Home Alabama."
Ward also starred in "Miami Blues" (1990) alongside Alec Baldwin and Jennifer Jason Leigh and played Jennifer Lopez's long-lost father in the film "Enough" (2002).
Most recently, he starred in two episodes of the hit HBO series "True Detective."