R.I.P. Fred Ward

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I mainline Windex and horse tranquilizer
Great actor... Remo Williams, Tremors, The Right Stuff... the first movie I ever saw him in was Timerider (1982).



I did a retrospectivus on Timerider a couple of months ago, coincidentally:


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Aw man. Loved Fred Ward, great actor, one of the all-time "hey it's that guy!" guys. So good in Naked Gun 33 1/3, which is what I'll always think of, since I saw that first growing up. Good actor, and such an interesting face.



Damn. As fine an example of a character actor as you're likely to find. So many memorable roles. And so many of them were in movies that might have been considered cult favorites. Miami Blues, Timerider, Remo Williams, Southern Comfort, Uncommon Valor. Or maybe he was the common thread and turned them into cult favorites.

RIP Mr. Ward.



I mainline Windex and horse tranquilizer
It occurs to me that I first saw him in Escape From Alcatraz, probably when it was on HBO around '80-'81.



"Honor is not in the Weapon. It is in the Man"
He actually made a great villain in The Crow: Salvation, a dirty cop with a kink of sadism.
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Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins made a big impression on me. Seems like the era of a silver vcr with (one day electrical taped) wired remote. Dad not only bringing movies home from the library, but these immense experiences unlike anything else you had going on at that age.

Ward had that gruff voice with a F’ you sneer contrasted by an everyman vulnerability. Throw in soaps loving Chiun, 💎 🦷, the dobermans, pre-diabeetus Brimley, log on a chain… It was too much.

Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins doesn’t get brought up much in the Mt. Rushmore of 80’s action flicks, but it’s on mine. Much like Making the Grade, it may be a movie best left without a re-watch. The memory of it, from that time and place, is something too precious to chance.



Aw man!

"A former boxer, lumberjack and short-order cook..." and he looked just like it. He was our generations Charles Bronson.



One of my all-time favorites, gone. Gah! Any movie he was in, he just fit in like a glove, he was that good. So natural, yet so skilled.

The last thing I saw him in was a re-watch of Sweet Home Alabama as Reese Witherspoon's Civil War re-enacting dad. I see his face and immediately so many scenes and favorite lines come up:

"The hatch just blew!"--The Right Stuff Trying to explain what happened to his capsule.

When talking about putting a knife in at the base of an enemy's skull in Uncommon Valor: "You insert, scramble the brains... what you have is instant rag doll."

And my favorite image of him is from Tremors where he's watching Kevin Bacon putting ointment and bandages on a woman's bare legs, knowing that Kevin has a thing for her and vice-versa, and Fred's just sitting there with a cigarette in his mouth, eyes slitted, with a little grin on his face, cool as can be. I'll always see that when I think of him.

Godspeed, Fred. Miss you already.
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Oh no. He had such a great expressive face, one of those guys who wasn't necessarily a star, but who made the movie work because of his wry, expressive facial humor. Teamed up with Kevin Bacon as Val and Earl, Ward (Earl) did one of my favorite junk movies of all time - the immortal Tremors -