Actor Fred Ward, Of ‘Tremors,’ ‘The Right Stuff’ Fame, Dead At 79

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NEW YORK (AP) — Fred Ward, a seasoned histrion who brought a gruff tenderness to tough-guy roles successful specified films arsenic “The Right Stuff,” “The Player” and “Tremors,” has died. He was 79.

Ward died Sunday, his publicist Ron Hofmann said Friday. No origin oregon spot of decease was disclosed per the family’s wishes.

Ward earned a Golden Globe and shared the Venice Film Festival ensemble prize for his show successful Robert Altman’s “Short Cuts,” and played the rubric quality successful “Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins.” He besides reached caller heights playing Mercury 7 astronaut Virgil “Gus” Grissom successful 1983′s Academy Award- nominated movie “The Right Stuff.”

“Devastated to larn astir the passing of my friend, Fred Ward,” tweeted histrion Matthew Modine, who co-starred with Ward successful “Short Cuts” and Alan Rudolph’s Equinox.” “A pugnacious façade covering emotions arsenic heavy arsenic the Pacific Ocean. Godspeed amigo.”

A erstwhile boxer, lumberjack successful Alaska and short-order navigator who served successful the U.S. Air Force, Ward was a San Diego autochthonal who was portion Cherokee. One aboriginal large relation was alongside Clint Eastwood successful 1979’s “Escape From Alcatraz.”

“I mourn the nonaccomplishment of Fred Ward, who was truthful benignant to maine erstwhile we worked unneurotic connected ‘Remo Williams,’” histrion Kate Mulgrew tweeted. “Decent and humble and utterly professional, helium disarmed with a grin that was astatine erstwhile lukewarm and mischievous.”

Ward’s different roles included a rumpled bull chasing a psychotic transgression played by Alec Baldwin successful George Armitage’s “Miami Blues.” He was a formidable and intimidating begetter to some Freddie Prinze Jr.’s quality successful “Summer Catch” and David Spade’s rubric quality successful “Joe Dirt.”

Ward played President Reagan successful the 2009 Cold War espionage thriller “Farewell” and had a supporting relation successful the 2013 enactment flick “2 Guns,” starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg.

In the horror-comedy “Tremors,” Ward paired with Kevin Bacon to play a brace of repairmen who extremity up redeeming a hardscrabble Nevada godforsaken assemblage beset by elephantine underground snakes.

With the sexually charged, NC-17 “Henry & June,” Ward showed much than conscionable grit. Based connected the publication by Anais Nin and directed by Philip Kaufman, Ward played novelist Henry Miller, other Nin and his wife, June. “My rear extremity seemed to person thing to bash with (that rating),” helium told The Washington Post.

He besides reteamed with Altman for the portion of a workplace information main successful the director’s 1992 Hollywood satire “The Player,” and played a national activistic and Meryl Streep’s workmate successful Mike Nichols’ “Silkwood” successful 1983.

Ward demonstrated his drama chops playing a violent intent connected blowing up the Academy Awards successful “Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult” successful 1994.

On the tiny screen, helium had recurring roles connected NBC’s “ER” playing the begetter of Maura Tierney’s Abby Lockhart successful 2006-2007 and impermanent starred connected specified bid arsenic “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Leverage” and “United States of Tara.” Ward astir precocious appeared successful the 2nd play of HBO’s “True Detective” arsenic the retired bull begetter of Colin Farrell’s Det. Ray Velcoro.

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

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