Carmel Dagan Staff WriterFred Ward, who starred in films including “Henry and June,” “Tremors,” “The Right Stuff” and “The Player,” died May 8, his publicist confirmed to Variety.
He was 79.There was a certain retro quality to the actor’s persona that made Ward seem more akin to Humphrey Bogart or John Garfield (although not quite with those actors’ level of charisma) than to his contemporaries, and it did not seem at all affected.
He appeared to be the sort of fellow who hailed from the South Side of Chicago or Hell’s Kitchen, but he was actually from San Diego.Ward most recently appeared in the second season of HBO’s “True Detective” as Eddie Velcoro, the retired cop father of Colin Farrell’s Det.
Ray Velcoro. He recurred on NBC’s “ER” as the father of Maura Tierney’s Abby Lockhart in 2006-07 and guested on series including “Grey’s Anatomy” and “United States of Tara.”The actor played President Reagan in the 2009 Cold War espionage thriller “Farewell,” directed by Christian Carion, and had a supporting role in the 2013 actioner “2 Guns,” starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg.In Don Siegel’s “Escape From Alcatraz” (1979), Ward and Jack Thibeau played convict brothers who are partnered with Clint Eastwood’s Frank Morris in engineering the clever, daring purported escape from the Rock. (The bodies of the three men were never found, so it is unclear whether they truly escaped or whether they simply drowned in San Francisco Bay.) The film was vastly more interested in the mechanics of the escape than in developing the three prisoners as characters.Ward brought his trademark grit to his portrayal of the courageous, intelligent astronaut Gus Grissom in 1983’s “The Right Stuff,” Philip Kaufman’s epic story of the early.Read more on variety.com