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Fred Ward, Actor of ‘tremors’ and ‘the Right Stuff Fame, Has Died.

Fred Ward, an actor of many years who brought a gentle touch to the tough roles of tough-guy characters in films like “The Right Stuff,” and “The Player,” has passed away. He was 79.

His publicist Ron Hofmann announced Friday that Ward died on Sunday. The family requested that no cause or location of death be disclosed.

Fred Ward, Actor of 'tremors' and 'the Right Stuff Fame, Has Died.

Ward won a Golden Globe for his performance in Robert Altman’s “Short Cuts” and was awarded the Venice Film Festival ensemble award. He also played the title role in “Remo Williams” and “Remo Williams” as Mercury 7 astronaut Virgil “Gus” Grissom, which was nominated for an Academy Award.

Matthew Modine tweeted, “Devastated to hear about Fred Ward’s passing,” referring to Ward’s co-star in “Short Cuts,” and Alan Rudolph’s “Equinox.” Modine was also a star in Ward’s films “Short Cuts” (with Ward). “A tough façade covering emotions as deep the Pacific Ocean. Good luck, amigo.

Fred Ward, Actor of 'tremors' and 'the Right Stuff Fame, Has Died.

Ward, a San Diego native and part Cherokee, was an ex-boxer, lumberjack in Alaska, and short-order cook who served with the U.S. Air Force. Clint Eastwood was a key role in “Escape From Alcatraz” (1979).

Kate Mulgrew, the actor, tweeted, “I mourn Fred Ward‘s loss, who was so kind and generous to me when I worked with him on ‘Remo Williams. “Decent, modest, and utterly proficient, he disarmed me with a smile that was both warm and mischievous.

Fred Ward, Actor of 'tremors' and 'the Right Stuff Fame, Has Died.

Ward also played the role of a rumpled cop who chased a psychotic criminal, Alec Baldwin in George Armitage’s “Miami Blues.” Ward was a formidable father to both Freddie Prinze Jr. and David Spade’s title characters in “Joe Dirt.”

Ward played the role of President Ronald Reagan in “Farewell,” a Cold War espionage thriller in 2009. He also had a supporting role in “2 Guns”, starring Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg and others.

Ward and Kevin Bacon teamed up in the horror-comedy “Tremors” to portray a pair who help a Nevada desert community that is plagued by underground snakes.

Ward displayed more than just grit in the NC-17, sexually charged “Henry & June” role. Based on Anais Nin’s book and directed by Philip Kaufman. Ward played the role of Henry Miller opposite Nin and June. According to Ward, “That rating was probably due to my rear end,” he said to The Washington Post.

Fred Ward, Actor of 'tremors' and 'the Right Stuff Fame, Has Died.

Altman also reteamed him with Altman to play the role of studio security chief in “The Player,” the director’s 1992 Hollywood comedy. He also played Meryl Streep’s workmate and union activist in Mike Nichols’ 1983 “Silkwood.”

Ward displayed his comedy skills as a terrorist who wanted to blow up the Academy Awards in “Naked Gun 33/3: The Final Intimidation” (1994).

He was a regular on NBC’s “ER”, playing the father of Maura Tierney’s Abby Lockhart from 2006 to 2007. In addition, he guest-starred in such series as “Grey’s Anatomy,” and “Leverage”; most recently, Ward was the retired cop father of Detective Ray Velcoro of Colin Farrell.

Ward is survived by Marie-France Ward, his 27-year-old wife, and Django Ward, his son.

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