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Veteran actor Fred Ward, star of The Right Stuff and Tremors, dies aged 79

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Fred Ward dies at 79

The veteran character actor Fred Ward, best known for appearances in The Right Stuff, Tremors and Short Cuts, has died aged 79. A statement to the New York Post by Ward’s representative said that the actor died on 8 May. No cause of death was given, but the statement said it was Ward’s wish for donations to be made to the Boston University Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center.

Born in San Diego, Ward joined the air force before deciding to become an actor. Having found it difficult to land roles, he worked as a lumberjack, sailor and boxer before restarting his acting career in Italy, where an early credit was in a 1974 Roberto Rossellini TV movie about Descartes.

Returning to the US, he finally got noticed in Hollywood as the bank robber John Anglin, Clint Eastwood’s fellow escapee in Escape from Alcatraz. More high-profile roles followed: in Southern Comfort as murderous corporal Reece, as a Vietnam vet in Uncommon Valor, and in The Right Stuff as flawed astronaut Gus Grissom.


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