Repo Williams, Henry & June, and Tremors actor Fred Ward He was 79 when he died.
“The Right Stuff” and “Silkwood” are among his other notable credits, as are “Uncommon Valor” and “Miami Blues.”
Films like Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, Tremors and The Right Stuff all feature Fred Ward as no-nonsense men of action. He was 79 years old at the time.
Reason for his death
His spokesman, Ron Hofmann, revealed Ward’s death on Sunday. In accordance with the family’s wishes, no information about the deceased’s cause of death or final resting place was released.
The native San Diegan added a raw power and a gruff demeanor to his art. While working as Meryl Streep’s co-worker in Mike Nichols’ Silkwood (1983) and Errol Morris’ The Dark Wind (1991) and Michael Apted’s Thunderheart (1993), he used his Cherokee heritage to his advantage (1992).
As a former Vietnam War tunnel rat, he appeared in Ted Kotcheff’s Uncommon Valor (1983), and as a scruffy officer battling a deranged criminal (Alec Baldwin) while simultaneously losing his dentures in George Armitage’s Miami Blues (1985). (1990).57
Julia Cameron noted in a 1985 profile of Ward that “Ward has played several heroes, each with a subtlety that separated them from the cardboard cutout figures that they could have been. Like Robert Duvall, his work can be seen as a reflection of American masculinity in many ways.
Ward also acted in Philip Kaufman’s Henry & June (1990), the first NC-17 film to be shown in theaters, as Henry Miller, a hard-drinking expatriate author who has a ménage-a-trois with his wife (Uma Thurman) and another writer (Maria de Medeiros).
In an interview with The Washington Post, he added, “My rear end seemed to have something to do with [that rating].”
For Robert Altman’s The Player (1992), Ward played the studio security chief, and for Short Cuts (1993), he shared the Golden Globe and Venice Film Festival ensemble awards (1993).
The role of Remo Williams in Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins was his greatest shot at stardom (1985).
Based on the bestselling The Destroyer novels, the Orion Pictures production was planned to set off a franchise based on an American James Bond. (Guy Hamilton and Christopher Wood, both 007 veterans, directed and wrote the film, and Ward signed on for three more Remo Williams films.)
After becoming an assassin for a covert government agency, Ward’s Remo is trained by a Korean master (Joel Grey) in the martial arts. In spite of a well-executed action sequence on scaffolding covering the Statue of Liberty, the film failed at the box office and the adventure was cut short.
Earl Bass, a Nevada handyman who fights off creepy crawlers in Tremors (1990) and a 1996 direct-to-video sequel, was played by Ward twice.
Ward was “earthy and unpretentious in what is possibly the film’s most challenging role,” THR observed in its review of Kaufman’s The Right Stuff (1983).
Frederick Joseph Ward was born on December 30th, 1942, in San Diego, California, United States. As a child, he was frequently uprooted by his father’s run-ins with the law.
In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, he admitted that his father had put in a lot of hours. His release from prison coincided with the birth of my sister, and his return was swift and unannounced. I knew he’d end up in problems because of his character. Underneath all the other problems, alcohol was the main issue.
My mother and father divorced when I was just three years old. She left me with her mother in Texas while she moved to New Orleans to begin a new life for herself and me. It wasn’t long before she called for me. She worked in bars to help us out financially. We moved five times in a five-year period. After that, she married my stepfather, who was working as a carnival employee. Perhaps my unrest stems from a lack of sleep. “I was born with it.”
Ward served as an airborne radar technician in Goose Bay, Labrador, Canada, for three years in the United States Air Force. In 1964, he took a six-month trip to New York City after his military service to study acting at Herbert Berghof’s workshop.
Sam Shepard’s future Right Stuff co-star Ward, who was 5 feet 9 inches tall at the time, also worked as a logger and lumberjack in Alaska and appeared in some of Shepard’s early plays.
In Rome, he dubbed films, performed as a mime, and starred in Roberto Rossellini telefilms sponsored by a construction job in San Francisco.
Ward starred in Tony Bill’s Hearts of the West (1975) as a cowboy, then had his first major role in Escape From Alcatraz (1975) as a con who tries to break out with Clint Eastwood (1979).
A sequence in which Grissom bails out of his capsule in Half Moon Bay almost killed Ward, according to Kaufman, who worked on the film.
In “quite cold water,” Ward said, “I had a wet suit on under my flying suit.” “And then they rescued me by snatching me up in a rescue noose. It’s a scary situation. You can see Gus Grissom dangling there like a dead fish on the end of a fishing line,” he says.
As a terrorist, he was in Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (1994), and he also appeared in Southern Comfort, Swing Shift, UFOria, Secret Admirer, The Prince of Pennsylvania, Bob Roberts, Road Trip, Sweet Home Alabama, The Wild Stallion, and 2 Guns, all of which took place in the 1980s and 1990s, respectively (2013).
Charles Willeford’s 1985 book Miami Blues was optioned for $4,000 by Ward in his only excursion as a producer, with Jonathan Demme producing and Armitage writing the screenplay.
There were a total of three marriages that Ward had. Django Reinhardt, the Belgian jazz guitarist, was a favorite of Ward’s wife Marie-France Ward, through whom he had a son.