Actor Fred Ward dies

Actor Fred Ward has died, according to his publicist, Ron Hofmann.

The star, who brought gentlemanly gruffness to films that included The Right Stuff, Henry and June and The Player died Sunday, May 8 at the age of 79. No cause of death was given.

Ward brought reservoirs of tenderness to his tough guy roles, and plenty of street credibility.

A former boxer, lumberjack & short-order cook who served in the U.S. Air Force, Ward went to acting school & got his start when he moved to Rome as a young man and worked as a mime, voice-over actor.

That led to a few appearances in TV productions by Italian neorealist pioneer Roberto Rossellini.

Ward made his U.S. movie debut as a convict alongside Clint Eastwood in Escape from Alcatraz in 1979.

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