Tremors actor Fred Ward has died

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Veteran film and TV actor Fred Ward, 79, best known for playing gruff and tough roles in films such as Tremors, Escape from Alcatraz and The Right Stuff, died on Sunday, his publicist said Friday.

No cause or place of death has been released, in accordance with his family’s wishes, publicist Ron Hofmann said.

Fred Ward took a circuitous route to becoming an actor, having served three years in the US Air Force in the 1960s, then working as an Alaskan lumberjack, a boxer where his nose was broken three times and a short-lived cook , according to a biography provided. by Hoffman.

His career spanned more than four decades, beginning with foreign films in the early 1970s and stretching to 2015 with his final role in the television series True Detective, according to his online IMBD page.

He made his first American film appearance playing a cowboy in the 1975 film Hearts of the West. But his breakthrough role came when he starred opposite Clint Eastwood in the 1979 film Escape from Alcatraz.

“The unique thing about Fred Ward is that you never knew where he was going to show up, his career choices were so unpredictable,” the statement read.

He’s played everything from astronaut, cowboy, Vietnam War soldier, chain-smoking police detective turned assassin, to giant worm-fighting hero, according to the communicated.

In 1983, he played Mercury 7 astronaut Virgil “Gus” Grissom in the adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s book The Right Stuff. That same year, he appeared in the action film Uncommon Valor with Gene Hackman and in the drama Silkwood with Meryl Streep.

Fred Ward won a Golden Globe and the Venice Film Festival’s Ensemble Award for his performance in Short Cuts in 1993, according to his biography.

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

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