“The Right Stuff” and “Tremors” actor Fred Ward is dead at age 79.
Ward’s publicist told Variety that Ward died May 8. A cause of death was not disclosed.
Ward was best known for his roles as Earl Bass in the 1990 horror-comedy “Tremors” alongside Kevin Bacon and as NASA astronaut Gus Grissom in 1983 film “The Right Stuff.” He also played David Spade’s father in 2001′s “Joe Dirt,” President Ronald Reagan in the 2009 thriller “Farewell,” and the title character Remo Williams in 1985′s “Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins.”
Wow, I can’t believe we have lost the very talented Mr Fred Ward today. RIP sir. pic.twitter.com/v9VxIFygpf— Detroit Steel (@DetroitSteel_) May 13, 2022
Ward appeared in more than 85 movies and TV shows in his career, including “Chain Reaction,” “Road Trip,” “The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult,” “Henry and June,” “The Player,” “2 Guns,” “Escape from Alcatraz,” “Corky Romano” and “Short Cuts.” He also appeared on “Grey’s Anatomy,” “United States of Tara,” “The Incredible Hulk” and had a recurring role as the father Maura Tierney’s character on “ER.”
His final role was as Eddie Velcoro, the retired cop father of Colin Farrell’s Det. Ray Velcoro, in “True Detective” season 2.
Ward’s sole producing credit was 1990′s “Miami Blues,” starring Ward, Alec Baldwin and Jennifer Jason Leigh.
Frederick Joseph Ward was born Dec. 30, 1942, in San Diego. According to Variety, he served three years in the Air Force, studied acting at the Herbert Berghof Studio in New York and then went to Europe to help dub Italian films into English before landing his first screen credit in the 1973 miniseries “The Age of the Medici,” directed by Roberto Rossellini.
“It was Fred Ward’s wish that any memorial tributes be made in the form of donations to the Boston University Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center,” Ward’s rep told the New York Post. “Please visit https://bit.ly/BUSMCTE or contact 617-358-9535 for more information.”