GOLDEN Globe-winning actor and star of The Right Stuff Fred Ward has passed away at 79.
Ward died on May 8 from an unknown cause, a representative confirmed to the New York Post on Friday.
“I am sad to announce the passing of acclaimed actor Fred Ward, who passed away on Sunday, May 8, 2022, at age 79,” the statement read, per the Post.
A former short-order cook who served in the US Air Force, Ward went to acting school and got his start with a role in an Italian television film in 1973.
Ward made his US movie debut as a convict in the Clint Eastwood movie Escape from Alcatraz in 1979.
Throughout his career, he appeared in films such as Southern Comfort, The Right Stuff, Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, Tremors and Tremors 2: Aftershocks, Henry & June, The Player, Swing Shift and Short Cuts.
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"The unique thing about Fred Ward is that you never knew where he was going to pop up, so unpredictable were his career choices," his publicist Ron Hofmann wrote in a statement to NPR.
News of the star's death rocked social media on Friday, with many Hollywood gurus sending their condolences to Ward's family.
Film critic Robert Daniels tweeted: “Fred Ward was absurdly good. A professional in everything he did from TREMORS to THE PLAYER.
"He could even turn in a great performance is something as patently dumb as JOE DIRT. Totally underrated.”
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Producer Charles de Lauzirika shared: "Fred Ward was such an unexpectedly versatile actor who worked in that stealthy zone between character actor and movie star.
"He always deserved more recognition. So good in TREMORS, REMO, THE PLAYER, HENRY & JUNE…but my Ward faves remain THE RIGHT STUFF and MIAMI BLUES. R.I.P."
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Ward spent the last years of his life developing paintings, his rep told the Post.
He is survived by his wife of 27 years, Marie-France Ward, and his son Django Ward.
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