Fred Ward–a versatile action star known to horror fans for his appearances in the Tremors franchise–has passed away at the age of 79.
Ward’s passing was announced by his publicist Ron Hofmann, according to The Hollywood Reporter. No cause or place of death was disclosed, per his family’s request.
Ward–born in San Diego–spent three years in the U.S. Air Force before moving to New York, where he studied acting at Herbert Berghof’s studio. His first major role came in the 1979 Clint Eastwood vehicle Escape From Alcatraz.
In Ron Underwood’s 1990 horror-comedy Tremors, Ward (as Earl Bassett) and Kevin Bacon (as Val McKee) were two handymen who wind up saving a Nevada desert community from a horde of giant, prehistoric worm-like monsters.
Ward reprised his role in 1996’s Tremors 2: Aftershocks, in which Bassett is hired to deal with a subterranean Graboid infestation at a Mexican oilfield.
Ward’s other prominent roles were in The Right Stuff, The Player, Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, Miami Blues and Short Cuts.
Ward is survived by his wife Marie-France Ward and his son Django. Donations in his memory can be made to the Boston University Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center.
The staff of Horror News Network extends its condolences to Ward’s family, friends and colleagues.