Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Actor Fred Ward (1942-2022)


jakeem
 Share

Recommended Posts

Fred Ward, who portrayed one of America's seven original astronauts in "The Right Stuff," died Sunday at the age of 79. The news of his death was confirmed by his publicist Ron Hofmann. The cause of death was not disclosed.

His family asked for donations to the Boston University Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center.

Golden Globe-Winning 'Tremors' Actor Fred Ward Dies at 79 | Complex

One of Ward's early screen appearances was in "Escape from Alcatraz," the 1979 thriller starring Clint Eastwood as a 1960s criminal mastermind who planned to beat the odds by breaking out of the famed island prison in San Francisco Bay. Ward co-starred as a former accomplice and fellow prisoner. The film, which also starred Patrick McGoohan and Danny Glover, was the fifth and last teaming of Eastwood and director Don Siegel ("Coogan's Bluff," "Dirty Harry").

See the source image

"Southern Comfort" was Walter Hill's1981 allegory about America's Vietnam War experiences. The film was headlined by Ward, Keith Carradine, Powers Boothe and Peter Coyote as 1970s Louisiana Army National Guardsmen threatened by malicious Cajun locals during maneuvers in a swamp. The movie was directed and co-written by Hill.

See the source image

In "The Right Stuff" -- Philip Kaufman's 1983 screen adaptation of Tom Wolfe's best-selling book about the origins of America's space program -- Ward appeared as the hard-luck Mercury astronaut Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, whose suborbital flight on July 21, 1961 occurred two months after Alan B. Shepard Jr.'s and seven months before John H. Glenn, Jr.'s celebrated orbital flight. Grissom's Liberty Bell 7 space capsule  sank just before he was retrieved from the Atlantic Ocean by the aircraft carrier USS Randolph. He denied that he had prematurely blown the capsule's escape hatch. NASA officials backed him despite speculation that the astronaut had "screwed the pooch" --panicking in a tough situation. Last year, an article in Smithsonian magazine reported that George Leopold, a Grissom biographer, and space photo expert Andy Saunders believed the incident was caused by an electrical discharge during the recovery operation. On January 27, 1967, Grissom and fellow Apollo 1 astronauts Ed White and Roger Chaffee were killed in a capsule fire during a test at Cape Kennedy. 

See the source image

"Uncommon Valor" starred  Ward as one of several Vietnam vets recruited by their old Marine platoon leader (Gene Hackman) for a special mission to search for his missing son in Laos. Directed by Ted Kotcheff, the film also starred Robert Stack, Patrick Swayze, Reb Brown, Randall "Tex" Cobb, Harold Sylvester and Tim Thomerson.

See the source image

In the 1985 action film "Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins," Ward played the title character -- a pulp magazine-like hero working as an operative for a secret American organization. Joel Grey co-starred as Master Chiun, the Asian martial arts wizard who served as Remo's mentor. Directed by Guy Hamilton, a veteran of four James Bond films, the movie was not a box-office success.

Fred Ward, 'The Right Stuff' and 'Tremors' actor, dead at 79

The 1990 hit thriller "Tremors" teamed Kevin Bacon and Ward as Nevada handymen who joined forces with others in a battle against predatory worm-like creatures. Directed by Ron Underwood, the film also starred Michael Gross, Reba McEntire and Finn Carter. Ward and Gross returned for the 1996 direct-to-video sequel, "Tremors 2: Aftershocks."

Tremors (1990)

Ward reunited with Kaufman for the 1990 biographical drama "Henry & June," based on the 1986 book by the French writer and diarist Anaïs Nin. The film, which was the first picture released with an NC-17 rating by the Motion Picture Association of America, focused on the 1930s friendship of Nin (portrayed by the Portuguese actress Maria de Medeiros), the American writer Henry Miller (Ward) and Miller's wife June (Uma Thurman). The film received an Academy Award nomination for Philippe Rousselot's cinematograpy -- making it one of the rare NC-17 releases to earn an Oscar nod.

See the source image

The 1991 HBO fantasy/mystery "Cast a Deadly Spell" starred Ward as a private detective named H.P. Lovecraft whose turf was an alternate version of 1948 Los Angeles. Directed by Martin Campbell, the production also starred Julianne Moore, David Warner, Alexandra Powers and Clancy Brown. 

See the source image

Ward played a studio security chief in Robert Altman's "The Player." the  1992 star-studded satire about a movie executive (Time Robbins) who tried to cover up a homicide. 

See the source image

 

aJo_6zMC_bigger.jpg

Fred Ward was seemingly incapable of being inauthentic His characters felt like they lived a full life and we’re only seeing a part of it and that’s a magic trick done right in front of you and very luckily captured in light forever

RIP

 
 
 
 
5OD5m16E_bigger.jpg
 
Farewell to Fred Ward who gifted us with so many rugged, funny and relatable characters throughout his career and always had charm to burn. Loved him in ‘Tremors’, ‘Miami Blues’, ‘The Right Stuff’, ‘The Player’, ‘Southern Comfort’ and more. RIP and thanks for all the movies x
 
 

ddEgtzqr_bigger.jpg

So sad to hear about Fred Ward. When it came to battling underground worms I couldn’t have asked for a better partner. I will always remember chatting about his love of Django Reinhardt and jazz guitar during our long hot days in the high desert. Rest In Peace Fred.
 
 
Image
 
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 5
  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In addition to The Right Stuff, Fred Ward starred in Escape from Alcatraz, Southern Comfort, Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, Tremors, Tremors 2: Aftershocks, Henry & June, The Player, Swing Shift, Short Cuts, Sweet Home Alabama, Big Business, Miami Blues, Uncommon Valor, Silkwood et al.

Rest in peace, rest in paradise, Fred Ward.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

And here I had thought Fred Ward had passed away a couple of years ago. Then I remembered it was actually Robert Forster who had.

(...always did get these two wonderful actors confused a bit in my mind)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

And before Tremors fans take over the discussion, a word in favor of Remo Williams: the Adventure Begins (1985)--

As master Chiun said, he may have moved like a pregnant yak, but there was the feeble glint of promise in his eyes:

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

remo williams and secret admirer are at the top of my ward list

secret admirer was a particulary good utr movie and ward was brilliant. ward, kelly preston, dee wallace, leigh taylor young, c. thomas howell, and a lot of familiar faces

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fred was such a good sport about unknowingly being an object of interest to the gay couple in Big Business, who, in a case of mistaken identity, were assigned to keep an eye on him. The movie featured a country folk / city slicker scenario and Fred was greatly responsible for keeping it from veering into a Beverly Hillbillies cliche with his forthright earnestness and genuine charm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

© 2023 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...