Fred Ward Dead at 79

One of my all-time favorite character actors has sadly passed away.

Fred Ward, who had starring roles in “Tremors” and “The Right Stuff,” has passed away.

Ward was 79 years old.

The Rugged Star

Ward was about as versatile as it gets in the acting world.

He could play the rugged, serious role or, as he did in “Tremors,” make you laugh hysterically.

He was terrific in “The Right Stuff,” starring in a movie with some very big names.

The all-star cast included Sam Shepard, Scott Glenn, Ed Harris, and Dennis Quaid.

For many of us, however, it was the role of Gus Grissom that captured our attention.

Remember, he did NOT screw the pooch!

While he started acting in the early 1970s, his first major break was starring in “Escape from Alcatraz,” a 1979 movie with Clint Eastwood bagging the starring role.

“Tremors” created a cult following of sorts for Ward, playing opposite fan-favorite Kevin Beacon.

The movie quickly turned into a franchise, with six sequels and a TV series.

Before acting, Ward served in the Air Force for three years, was a short-order cook, a lumberjack, and even had a small stint as a boxer.

You may have figured that out from his twisted nose, which was broken three times in the ring.

He is survived by his wife, Marie-France Ward, whom he married in 1995.

Rest in peace, Fred… we will miss you.

Source: NBC DFW, NBC News, and IMDb


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