Character actor Fred Ward, known for his role on The Right Stuff, dies at 79

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Veteran film and television actor Fred Ward, 79, best known for playing gruff, tough-guy roles in movies like tremors, Escape from AlcatrazY The right thinghe died Sunday, his publicist said Friday.

No cause or place of death was released, per her family’s wishes, publicist Ron Hofmann said.

Ward took a roundabout path to acting, after serving three years in the US Air Force in the 1960s and later working as an Alaskan lumberjack, a boxer (where he broke his nose three times), and a cook from Alaska. fast food, according to a biography provided by Hofmann.

His career spanned more than four decades, starting with foreign films in the early 1970s and lasting until 2015 with his last role in the television series. true detectiveaccording to his IMDB page.

Ward in 2011 at the premiere of 30 Minutes Or Less. The veteran character actor died Sunday. (Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

He made his first appearance in an American film playing a cowboy in the 1975 film, western hearts. But his big break came when she 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, so unpredictable were his career choices,” the statement says.

He played everything from an astronaut, a cowboy, a Vietnam War soldier, a smoking police detective turned killer, to a hero battling giant worms, according to the release.

In 1983, he played Mercury 7 astronaut Virgil “Gus” Grissom in Tom Wolfe’s adaptation of the book, The right thing. That same year she appeared in the action movie. rare value with Gene Hackman and in the drama silk wood with Meryl Streep.

Ward won a Golden Globe and the Venice Film Festival ensemble prize for his performance in shortcuts in 1993, says his biography.

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

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