John Heard (actor)
John Heard Jr.
March 7, 1946
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Died||July 21, 2017 (aged 71)|
Palo Alto, California, U.S.
|Resting place||Old South Cemetery, Ipswich, Massachusetts, U.S.|
John Heard Jr. (March 7, 1946 – July 21, 2017) was an American actor. He appeared in a number of successful films, including Heart Beat (1980), Cutter's Way (1981), Cat People (1982), C.H.U.D. (1984), After Hours (1985), Beaches (1988), The Package (1989), and Deceived (1991). Other films include The Trip to Bountiful (1985), Big (1988), Awakenings (1990), Rambling Rose (1991), The Pelican Brief (1993), My Fellow Americans (1996), Animal Factory (2000), White Chicks (2004), Would You Rather (2012), and Assault on Wall Street (2013). Heard also played the role of Peter McCallister, the father of protagonist Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin), in Home Alone (1990) and its sequel Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992).
Heard played the role of George in Sharknado (2013). From 1995 to 1997, he played the role of Roy Foltrigg in the television series The Client. From 2005 to 2006, Heard played the role of Governor Frank Tancredi in Prison Break. He was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1999 for guest starring on The Sopranos (1999–2004).
Early life and education
Heard was born on March 7, 1946, in Washington, D.C. He was the son of Helen (Sperling), who was involved in the arts and appeared in community theatre, and John Henry Heard, who worked for the office of the Secretary of Defense. Heard was raised as a Catholic.
Heard attended Gonzaga College High School, Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, and Catholic University of America, in Washington, D.C. He grew up with two sisters, one of whom, Cordis, is also an actress, and a brother, Matthew, who died in 1975.
In the 1970s, Heard appeared on the stage and in television and film. He appeared off-Broadway in 1974 in Mark Medoff's play The Wager and in 1975 as Guildenstern in Hamlet at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park, where he also understudied Sam Waterston as Hamlet. That fall, the production moved to the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center. Heard appeared at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in 1977 in a series of new plays. Heard won Obie Awards for his performances in Othello and Split in 1979–80. He was the male lead in the 1979 film Head Over Heels (which was renamed and re-released as Chilly Scenes of Winter in 1982).
In 1981, he had the starring role of Alex Cutter in the film Cutter's Way. In 1982, he played the lover of Nastassja Kinski, one of the main characters, in the remake of Cat People. He co-starred as photographer George Cooper in C.H.U.D. (Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers, 1984) alongside future Home Alone co-star Daniel Stern and in The Trip to Bountiful (1985). In the comedy-drama film Heaven Help Us (aka, Catholic Boys, 1985), Heard played a monk named Brother Timothy. In After Hours (also 1985), Heard was bartender Tom Schorr.
He was seen in the film The Milagro Beanfield War and had a significant role playing Paul, Tom Hanks's adult corporate competitor and jilted boyfriend of Elizabeth Perkins, in Big (both 1988). He co-starred with Bette Midler in Beaches (also 1988). In 1990 Heard starred in the philosophical film Mindwalk, in which three characters from different socialitical and poetical backgrounds express their opinions on the human experience, and around the same time, he was in Awakenings alongside Robert De Niro and Robin Williams, starred in Deceived (1991), with Goldie Hawn, playing Jack Saunders, and had a supporting role in Gladiator (1992), with Cuba Gooding Jr.
He played Daugherty in the film Radio Flyer (1992) and FBI agent Gavin Vereek in The Pelican Brief (1993). He starred with Samuel L. Jackson in 1997's One Eight Seven and was featured in the 2000 miniseries Perfect Murder, Perfect Town.
Home Alone and sequel
In 1990, Heard starred as Peter McCallister in the comedy Home Alone. He played the part of Kevin's father who unwittingly leaves his son at home when making a Christmas trip to France. Heard chose to characterize the role with a combination of concerned dramatic acting of a father missing his son along with more classical comedic tropes. The film was one of the biggest hits of 1990, and Heard reprised the role of McCallister in the sequel Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.
Heard featured in a television production of The Scarlet Letter (1979) as Arthur Dimmesdale. He played real-life Ku Klux Klan leader D. C. Stephenson in the TV miniseries Cross of Fire (1989) and played the part of David Manning in the ABC miniseries adaptation of Shirley MacLaine's Out on a Limb, a memoir of her journey toward acceptance of spiritual and extraterrestrial realities. Heard also had roles on The Sopranos as the troubled corrupt detective Vin Makazian for which he received an Emmy nomination as outstanding guest actor; as well as Mr. Detrolio, father of Finn Detrolio, one of Meadows' boyfriends, and later on Battlestar Galactica as Commander Barry Garner.
He had recurring roles on CSI: Miami (as Kenwall Duquesne, father of Calleigh Duquesne) and Prison Break (as Frank Tancredi, governor of Illinois and father of Sara Tancredi). Among other film and television roles in the 2000s and 2010s, he played the mayor of Chicago on two episodes of the Fox series The Chicago Code.
In 2008, Heard was asked about his career and he replied,
I guess I went from being a young leading man to being just kind of a hack actor. ... When I came to Hollywood, I was pretty much a stage actor, and I expected everybody to be quiet. And they weren't. They were doing their job, and you're expected to do your job, and you're sort of this ongoing co-existence. I was a little bit of an arrogant jerk. Now, it's a little bit more like, 'Okay, I realize you have to pat me down with powder every three seconds.' And I stand there, and I'm a little more tolerant ... I think I had my time. I dropped the ball, as my father would say. I think I could have done more with my career than I did, and I sort of got sidetracked. But that's OK, that's all right, that's the way it is. No sour grapes. I mean, I don't have any regrets. Except that I could have played some bigger parts.
In 1987, he had a son, John Matthew Heard, with actress and former girlfriend Melissa Leo. Heard was arrested in 1991 and charged with third-degree assault for allegedly slapping Leo. In 1997, he was found guilty of trespassing at Leo's home but was acquitted of charges of trespassing at their son's school.
He also married Sharon Heard. They had two children, Annika Rose and Maxwell John.
His estranged son Maxwell John Heard died on December 6, 2016, at age 22.
Heard died of a heart attack on July 21, 2017, at the age of 71. His body was found by staff in a hotel in Palo Alto, California, where he was reportedly recovering after minor back surgery at Stanford University Hospital. The back surgery did not play a role in his death. His death was confirmed by the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner's office. He was buried in South Side Cemetery in Ipswich, Massachusetts.
Awards and honors
Source unless otherwise noted:
- 1977 Theatre World Award for his performance in G.R. Point
- 1976–77 Obie Award, Best Performance, G.R. Point
- 1979–80 Obie Award, Best Performance, Othello and Split
- 1999 Emmy Award nomination, Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series (1999)
In 2003, he was inducted into the Gonzaga College High School Theatre Hall of Fame.
|1977||Between the Lines||Harry Lucas|
|1977||First Love||David Bonner|
|1978||On the Yard||Juleson|
|1979||Chilly Scenes of Winter||Charles|
|1980||Heart Beat||Jack Kerouac|
|1981||Cutter's Way||Alex Cutter|
|1982||Cat People||Oliver Yates|
|1985||Too Scared to Scream||Sid|
|1985||Heaven Help Us||Brother Timothy|
|1985||After Hours||Tom Schorr|
|1985||The Trip to Bountiful||Ludie Watts|
|1987||Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam||Johnny 'Johnny Boy'||Voice|
|1988||The Telephone||Telephone Man|
|1988||The Milagro Beanfield War||Charlie Bloom|
|1988||The Seventh Sign||Reverend|
|1988||Betrayed||FBI Agent Mike Carnes|
|1989||The Package||Colonel Glen Whitacre|
|1990||The End of Innocence||Dean|
|1990||Home Alone||Peter McCallister|
|1991||Rambling Rose||Willcox Hillyer|
|1992||Home Alone 2: Lost in New York||Peter McCallister|
|1993||In the Line of Fire||Professor Riger|
|1993||Me and Veronica||Frankie|
|1993||The Pelican Brief||Gavin Vereek|
|1996||Before and After||Wendell Bye|
|1996||My Fellow Americans||Vice President Ted Matthews|
|1997||One Eight Seven||Dave Childress|
|1997||Silent Cradle||Dr. Brittain|
|1998||Snake Eyes||Gilbert Powell|
|1998||Desert Blue||Professor Lance Davidson|
|1999||Jazz Night||John Little||Short|
|1999||The Secret Pact||Jerome Carver|
|1999||Fish Out of Water||Gregor|
|2000||Animal Factory||James Decker|
|2001||The Boys of Sunset Ridge||John Burroughs|
|2001||O||Dean Bob Brable|
|2001||Dying on the Edge||John Fuller|
|2002||Researching Raymond Burke||Raymond Burke||Short|
|2004||Mind the Gap||Henry Richards|
|2004||White Chicks||Warren Vandergeld|
|2004||My Tiny Universe||Bobby|
|2004||Under the City||Scova|
|2005||The Chumscrubber||Officer Lou Bratley|
|2005||Edison||Captain Brian Tilman|
|2005||The Deal||Professor Roseman|
|2005||Sweet Land||Minister Sorrensen|
|2006||Steel City||Carl Lee|
|2006||Gamers: The Movie||Gordon's Dad|
|2006||The Guardian||Captain Frank Larson|
|2007||Dead Lenny||Dr. Robert Hooker|
|2007||The Great Debaters||Sheriff Dozier|
|2007||Brothers Three: An American Gothic||Father|
|2008||P.J.||Dr. Alan Shearson|
|2008||Justice League: The New Frontier||Ace Morgan||Voice|
|2008||The Lucky Ones||Bob|
|2009||Red State Blues||Fritz||Short|
|2009||Formosa Betrayed||Tom Braxton|
|2009||Little Hercules in 3-D||Coach Nimms|
|2010||The Truth||Jonathan Davenport|
|2011||Whisper Me a Lullaby||Poppy|
|2012||The Legends of Nethiah||Nethiah's Father|
|2012||A Perfect Ending||Mason Westridge|
|2012||Would You Rather||Conway|
|2013||The Insomniac||Paul Epstein|
|2013||Assault on Wall Street||Jeremy Stancroft|
|2013||Snake and Mongoose||Wally Parks|
|2013||Runner Runner||Harry Furst|
|2014||Boys of Abu Ghraib||Sam Farmer|
|2014||One More Day||Tom||Short|
|2015||Boiling Pot||Tim Davis|
|2016||Is That a Gun in Your Pocket?||Sheriff Parsons|
|2016||After the Reality||Bob|
|2016||Jimmy Vestvood: Amerikan Hero||JP Monroe|
|2016||So B. It||Thurman Hil|
|2017||Searching for Fortune||Denton Sr.|
|2017||Counting for Thunder||Garrett Stalworth|
|2017||Pray for Rain||Markus Gardener|
|2018||The Tale||Bill - Older||Posthumous|
|2018||Living Among Us||Andrew||Posthumous|
|1975||Valley Forge||Mr. Harvie||Television film|
|1979||The Scarlet Letter||Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale||Television miniseries|
|1983||Will There Really Be a Morning?||Clifford Odets||Television film|
|1984||Kate & Allie||Max McArdle||Episode: "A Weekend to Remember"|
|1985||Tender is the Night||Abe North||Television miniseries; 3 episodes|
|1985||Tales from the Darkside||Billy Malone||Episode: "Ring Around the Redhead"|
|1985||Alfred Hitchcock Presents||Bill Callahan||Episode: "Breakdown"|
|1986||Miami Vice||Laurence Thurmond||Episode: "One Way Ticket"|
|1987||The Equalizer||Ron Parrish||Episode: "In the Money"|
|1987||Out on a Limb||David Manning||Television film|
|1989||Screen Two||Michael Johnson||Episode: "Virtuoso"|
|1989||Cross of Fire||David Stephenson||Television film|
|1992||Dead Ahead: The Exxon Valdez Disaster||Dan Lawn||Television film|
|1993||There Was a Little Boy||Gregg||Television film|
|1994||In Spite of Love||Andrew||Television film|
|1994||Because Mommy Works||Ted Forman||Television film|
|1994–1999||Law & Order||Mitch Burke / Walter Grobman||2 episodes|
|1995||American Masters||Montresor||Episode: Edgar Allan Poe: Terror of the Soul|
|1995||The Outer Limits||Paul Stein||Episode: "Dark Matters"|
|1995–1996||The Client||Roy Foltrigg||21 episodes|
|1999–2004||The Sopranos||Detective Vin Makazian||5 episodes|
|2000||Perfect Murder, Perfect Town||Larry Mason||Television film|
|2000||The Wednesday Woman||Bill Davidson||Television film|
|2001||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Larry Wiegert||Episode: "The Pardoner's Tale"|
|2001||The Big Heist||Richard Woods||Television film|
|2002||Touched by an Angel||Allen||Episode: "Secrets and Lies"|
|2002||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Gregory Rossovitch / Peter Sipes||Episode: "Disappearing Acts"|
|2002||Hack||Paul Ballinger||Episode: "Songs in the Night"|
|2002||Monday Night Mayhem||Roone Arledge||Television film|
|2002||The Pilot's Wife||Jack Lyons||Television film|
|2003||Word of Honor||Dr. Steven Brandt||Television film|
|2003–2005||CSI: Miami||Kenwall Duquesne||4 episodes|
|2004–2005||Jack & Bobby||Dennis Morgenthal||5 episodes|
|2005||Numb3rs||Peter Houseman||Episode: "Soft Target"|
|2005||Locusts||Dr. Peter Axelrod||Television film|
|2005–2006||Prison Break||Governor Frank Tancredi||10 episodes|
|2006||Battlestar Galactica||Commander Barry Garner||Episode: "The Captain's Hand"|
|2006||Twenty Questions||C. Colin Whitworth||Television film|
|2006||The Line-Up||Walter Clark||Television film|
|2007||Cavemen||Tripp||Episode: "Her Embarrassed of Caveman"|
|2007–2010||Entourage||Richard Wimmer||2 episodes|
|2008||My Own Worst Enemy||Peter||Episode: "Down Rio Way"|
|2008||Skip Tracer||Con Colbert||Television film|
|2008||Generation Gap||Principal Winters||Television film|
|2009||The Beast||Dr. Blake||Episode: "Mercy"|
|2009||Southland||Ben Sherman Sr.||2 episodes|
|2010||The Quickening||Ed Erlich||Television film|
|2011||The Chicago Code||Mayor McGuinness||2 episodes|
|2011||Too Big to Fail||Joe Gregory||Television film|
|2013||Perception||Congressman Evan Rickford||2 episodes|
|2013||Adam DeVine's House Party||Dregory||Episode: "Dregory"|
|2013||Tim & Eric's Bedtime Stories||Lawyer||Episode: "Haunted House"|
|2014||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||Roger Ridley||Episode: "Love for Sale"|
|2014||Modern Family||Gunther Thorpe||Episode: "The Feud"|
|2014||Person of Interest||Roger McCourt||Episode: "Death Benefit"|
|2014||Mistresses||Bruce Sappire||Episode: "Coming Clean"|
|2014||NCIS: Los Angeles||Michael Thomas||3 episodes|
|2015||The Lizzie Borden Chronicles||William Almy||Television miniseries; 2 episodes|
|2015||The Murder Pact||John LaSalle||Television film|
|2016||Elementary||Henry Watson||Episode: "Miss Taken"|
|2017||MacGyver||Arthur Ericson||Episode: "Pilers"|
|2017||APB||Joe Reeves||Episode: "Daddy's Home"|
|2017||Outsiders||Lt. Governor of Kentucky||Episode: "What Must Be Done"|
- Correal, Annie (July 22, 2017). "John Heard, the Frazzled Father in 'Home Alone,' Dies at 71". The New York Times. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
- "John Heard Biography". TVGuide.com. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
- "John Heard, actor who played an absent-minded father in 'Home Alone,' dies at 71". The Washington Post. July 23, 2017.
- "HELEN S. HEARD's Obituary on The Washington Post". The Washington Post.
- "John Heard on The Lizzie Borden Chronicles, The Sopranos, Sharknado, and more". April 4, 2015. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
- "Actor John Heard, who played dad in "Home Alone" movies, dies at 72". NJToday.net. July 22, 2017. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
- "411 Movies Interview: John Heard". 411Mania.com. February 27, 2008. Archived from the original on December 19, 2013. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
- Roberts, Chris (April 9, 2005). "No Kidding". The Guardian. London. Retrieved December 26, 2010.
- "Heard Pleads Not Guilty to Harassing Ex-Girlfriend". Associated Press via Spartanburg Herald-Journal. March 20, 1997. p. 13.
- "'Home Alone' Actor Arrested". The Buffalo News. November 6, 1991.
- Tan, Cheryl L. (March 21, 1997). "Home Alone' actor Heard found guilty of trespassing". The Baltimore Sun.
- "Pritchard-Heard". The Monterey County Herald. June 14, 2010. Archived from the original on October 15, 2013. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
- Sblendorio, Peter (July 24, 2017). "John Heard preceded in death by estranged son, who faced 'deep grief' over their relationship". nydailynews.com. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
- "'Home Alone' Dad John Heard Died of Cardiac Arrest".
- "John Heard dead at 71; Home Alone actor death not considered suspicious, says police official". The Financial Express. July 23, 2017. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
- Saperstein, Pat (July 22, 2017). "John Heard, 'Home Alone' Dad, Dies at 71".
- AJ Willingham (July 22, 2017). "'Home Alone' actor John Heard dies". CNN. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
- "John Heard: Home Alone actor dies aged 71". BBC. July 22, 2017. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
- Jessica Glenza (July 22, 2017). "John Heard, star of Home Alone, Cutter's Way and The Sopranos, dies at 71". The Guardian. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
- Scheck, Frank (September 12, 2019). "'Imprisoned': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 12, 2020.