sHis spokesperson Ron Hoffman said of Fred Ward that the looks have been so amazing and varied, you never know where and in what role he will appear next. As announced Friday, the actor passed away last Sunday at the age of 79.
In his career, Ward was late. Prior to joining Herbert Berghof’s New York acting studio, Ward, born in San Diego on December 30, 1942, had served in the US Army, worked as an Alaskan woodcutter, cook and boxer. For his later film roles, this was not the worst preparatory training.
Ward moved to Italy in the early 1970s and made a living dubbing Italian films. It caught the attention of director Roberto Rossellini. Ward made his film debut in L’Etá di Cosimo di Medici (1973). After a year in Descartes.
Returning to the United States, Ward went on to perform supporting roles, mostly second in the cast, as in Heart of the Wild West opposite Jeff Bridges, in Pinball Queen with Brooke Shields, in Funfair with Jodie Foster, “Silkwood” with Meryl Streep, In “Things of Heroes” and in “Escape from Alcatraz” opposite Clint Eastwood.
Ward’s roster of actors was impressive in the ’80s and ’90s. In the Philip Kaufman film Henry & June 1990, Ward played the main role of writer Henry Miller. Ward got good reviews from critics, as did Uma Thurman and Maria de Medeiros, but the movie didn’t. In “Miami Blues,” Ward played a robbed policeman. Finally, with Kevin Bacon, Ward introduced the sci-fi horror comedy Tremors (1990), which quickly achieved cult status.
In 1994, Ward received a Golden Globe Award as a cast member for Robert Altman’s “Short Cuts”. A whole series of movie productions followed in two thousand years by Ward (previously Ronald Reagan). Recently, viewers saw Fred Ward in the TV series True Detectives. Here he played the role of the father of an investigator. Fred Ward is survived by his wife Marie France and their son Django, who has made a name for himself as a jazz musician.