{image via 20th Century Fox}

American born actor Fred Ward who starred in Tremors and Timerider has died at the age of 79. Per his family’s request for privacy, the cause of death has not been released yet.

Freddie Joe Ward was born December 30, 1942, in San Diego, California. He died May 8, 2022 at the age of 79. He would have turned 80 this fall. Ward was a veteran, having served his country in the United States Air Force. He studied his craft at the Herbert Berghof Studio in New York. His theatrical career began in Italy, where he first dubbed spaghetti westerns into English, and eventually acted in Italian television., The Age of the Medici mini-series and Cartesius (1974). After returning to the US, he performed on stage, often in experimental theater, before finding roles in American TV and movies. His first American movie was Ginger in the Morning (1974) which featured Star Trek‘s Susan Oliver (Vina in “The Cage”).

Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann

Timerider (1982) has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 25%, which is a higher score than I personally would have given it. ‘Tis a mystery to many movie fans why Timerider: the Adventures of Lyle Swan did not make the Medved List of 100 Worse Movies. Swan, played by Ward, is a motorcycle racer who accidentally drives into a time travel experiment.

Other Films of Interest to SciFi.Radio Fans

They say a doctor buries his mistakes, but an actor’s haunt him forever, turning up on the late show. Luckily, for Ward’s memory and reputation, he appeared in several other movies than Timerider. In The Right Stuff (1983), he played astronaut Gus Grissom. In Tremors (1990) and Tremors 2: Aftershock(1996) Ward played Earl Bassett. He starred in Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985) based on the popular series of Remo Williams: the Destroyer books by Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir. The movie controversially co-starred the very non-Korean Joel Grey as Chiun, the master assassin who trains Remo and Star Trek:Voyager‘s Janeway Kate Mulgrew as Major Fleming. In 1990, Action Film Maqgazine chose Ward as one of the 10 Top Action Film Stars. He was on the list. In the mini-series Invasion Earth, Ward played General David Reece. He made guest appearances in two episodes of The Incredible Hulk. In the movie Cast a Deadly Spell (1991), Ward starred as Detective Harry Philip Lovecraft.

Other Roles

In a career that stretched from 1973 to 2015, he had 89 film and TV credits, as well as several roles on stage. In Four Eyes and Six-Guns (1992), he played Wyatt Earp. In Henry and June (1990), ward starred as Henry Miller. He played Black Jack Bouvier, Jackie Kennedy’s father in Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis(2000). One of his best-known roles was as John Anglin in Escape from Alcatraz (1979). In Naked Gun 33 1/3, Ward played Rocco.

The New York Post reported “It was Fred Ward’s wish that any memorial tributes be made in the form of donations to the Boston University Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center. Please visit https://bit.ly/BUSMCTE or contact 617-358-9535 for more information.”

Ward’s hobby was painting. In his later years, as he grew too old for action roles, he funneled his creativity into his paintings. He was married three times and divorced twice and had one son, Django. He is survived by his son Django Ward and his wife Marie-France Ward

Fred Ward was a hardworking actor who always provided directors and producers with their money’s worth when they hired him (unfortunately, his scripts were not always top quality).


Susan Macdonald
Susan Macdonald

Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as 26 short stories, mostly fantasy in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress ”, Swords &Sorceries Vols. 1, 2, & 5, “Cat Tails” “Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions,  Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.