Actor John Heard, of ‘Home Alone’ movies, dies at 71

  • Get News Alerts


Actor John Heard, whose many roles included the father in the “Home Alone” series and a corrupt detective in “The Sopranos,” has died. He was 71.

Heard was found dead Friday in a hotel in Palo Alto, California, the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner’s office said Saturday.

An investigation which includes a toxicology test is underway to determine the cause of death, but so far there is no evidence of foul play, the office said.

TMZ reported that a representative for Heard said he was staying in the hotel while he recovered from back surgery at Stanford University Medical Center.

Heard played Peter McCallister, the father of Kevin, played by Macaulay Culkin, in “Home Alone” and “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.” He said in later interviews that he sought a movie with kids in it so his son, age 5 at the time, could come to the set and have someone to play with.

After it became a big hit, he was reluctant to revisit the role. But his agent convinced him the money was too good to pass up.

“I didn’t want to be the ‘Home Alone’ dad for the rest of my life,” he told Yahoo News in 2013.

He was born March 7, 1946, in Washington, D.C., and grew up performing in local theater. One of his memorable early roles was as a disabled Vietnam War veteran in the 1981 film “Cutter’s Way.”

He was active in film for the next decade, playing Tom Hanks’ rival in “Big,” actress Geraldine Page’s son in “The Trip to Bountiful” and in the movies “The Pelican Brief,” ″Beaches,” ″Gladiator,” ″Rambling Rose” and “After Hours.”

He earned an Emmy nomination for playing Vin Makazian in “The Sopranos.” Heard said in a 2015 interview with The A.V. Club that he got the part after running into series star James Gandolfini in a gym. His time on “The Sopranos” ended like it did for many other actors there — with his character’s death.

Heard said he approached series creator David Chase and said “‘Why me? I’m a detective! You can use me forever!’ And he told me, ‘John, there’s a rule in television. Somebody has to die that the audience likes.’ I said, ‘They like me? How do you know they like me?’ He said, ‘Well, they like you. So we’re gonna kill you.’

“My mother said, ‘Why do you have to die in everything?’ I said, ’You’re telling me? I could’ve made a fortune!”

Other television roles kept Heard busy. He acted in “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” ″Elementary,” ″Prison Break,” ″Modern Family” and “Entourage.” One of his favorite jobs came in the original “Sharknado” television movie in 2013.

“I knew it was going to be a cult classic,” he told the Baltimore Media Blog last year. “It’s just ridiculous. I thought it would replace people calling me the ‘Home Alone’ dad.”

Fellow actor Michael McKean paid tribute on Twitter Saturday: “RIP John Heard. Never not good.”

Actor James Woods said Heard was “a complex and brilliant man and a true artist. I will miss him dearly.”

Heard was married and divorced three times, including briefly to actress Margot Kidder. He had three children.

Comments

More News

  • Rani Mukherji's father passes away

    Rani Mukherji's father passes away Filmmaker Ram Mukerji, father of actor Rani Mukerji, passed away today early morning. According to sources close to the family, the filmmaker was not keeping well since a long time and passed away around 4 am. The cause of his death is not yet known.

  • 'Padmavati' rangoli vandalised, Deepika asks for action

    'Padmavati' rangoli vandalised, Deepika asks for action Raising questions of freedom of expression, Deepika Padukone today said she was heartbroken by the attack on a rangoli inspired by her upcoming film "Padmavati" and drew Union minister Smriti Irani's attention to the incident.

  • George Saunders’ ‘Lincoln in the Bardo’ wins Booker prize

    George Saunders’ ‘Lincoln in the Bardo’ wins Booker prize American author George Saunders won the prestigious Man Booker Prize for fiction Tuesday for “Lincoln in the Bardo,” a polyphonic symphony of a novel about restless souls adrift in the afterlife.

  • Alyssa Milano launches Twitter campaign against sexual harassment

    Alyssa Milano launches Twitter campaign against sexual harassment Alyssa Milano has launched a social media campaign to encourage women to speak up about sexual harassment. The 44-year-old actress took to Twitter on Sunday night (10.15.17) to implore anyone who has ever been sexually harassed or assaulted to respond to her message with the words "me too".

  • Ed Sheeran breaks arm in bike accident

    Ed Sheeran breaks arm in bike accident British singer Ed Sheeran has told fans via Instagram that he’s had a bicycle injury and may have to change some concert dates. The popular singer said Monday he’s had “a bit of a bicycle accident” and is “currently waiting on some medical advice, which may affect some of my upcoming shows.”

Opinion

  • Amendment of Education Act: A betrayal to capable candidates Amendment of Education Act: A betrayal to capable candidates

    Not all, but many of the temporary teachers who have been wishing to become permanent, no doubt, appointed on the basis of their political ideologies. They couldn't succeed in the examinations despite repeated attempts. They carried the bags of those parties during their teaching career.

    Manoj Sapkota

  • The Doklam dilemma The Doklam dilemma

    Being a buffer state between the two giant neighbors, Nepal should conduct its foreign policy vis-à-vis China and India in a very sensitive manner. Nepal has always maintained that it would not allow its soil to be used against any neighbor. At the same time, Nepal should make sure that its own national interests are never compromised.

    Gaurab Shumsher Thapa

Blog

  • To dogs, with love To dogs, with love

    Many find talking about basic animal rights stupid when no basic rights of people are guaranteed. However, there are still few people who are aware how humane behavior has turned toward cruelty and indifference which can be vividly seen through the way street dogs and other animals are abused around us.

    Sujita Shrestha

  • Unanswered questions on recent leftist alliance Unanswered questions on recent leftist alliance

    Although they seem to be very much communist while in opposition, whether about the 'Indian semi-colonial status' in Nepal or American hegemony, this has never been evident while they actually come into power and rule Nepal.

    Dr Chandra Sharma Poudyal

Readers Column

  • What we need to learn from Thailand?

    Thailand is a developing country. But it seemed like a developed country at first sight. It is hard to believe that Thailand is a developing country. There are big buildings, and clean and broad roads. The city is clean with no trace of pollution.

  • Traffic Police in Kathmandu

    As busy and hassling as the traffic system in Kathmandu is, the Traffic Police here have to handle an equally strenuous job. Over 1,400 traffic officers in and around the Kathmandu Valley battle against the pestering traffic and air pollution each day.

Popular

Recommended

Suchanapati