Actor John Heard Dies At Age 71

ABC News reports:

John Heard, known for his memorable roles in the “Home Alone” movies and “The Sopranos,” died on Friday, the Santa Clara County medical examiner’s office confirmed to ABC News. Heard was 71, the medical examiner said.

Heard’s rep did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment, and the details of his death remain unknown. Born John Matthew Heard in Washington, D.C., the actor was known for his many television and film roles, which spanned four decades.

He launched his career with a role in a 1974 off-Broadway production of “The Wager.” Heard then appeared in a series of stage roles on Broadway, including his Obie Award-winning performance in “Othello” in 1979.

  • Christopher

    He was in everything!

    He played characters you hated, characters you loved to hate, and characters who you loved.


  • Yalma Cuder-Zicci

    In other acting news, actress gets 18 years in prison for sending ricon to President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg. Will Trump pardon her?

  • Stephen Elliot Phillips
    • Lorenajbeard

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    • Dianefdavidson

      Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !pa51d:
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  • bambinoitaliano

    He is one of those busy actors you see in both big and small screen. And he still have quite a few roles in post production. Busy till the end doing what he loved to do. RIP.

    • Lazycrockett

      I’ve somehow managed to not see a thing he was ever in. Which is weird cause he was working regularly since the 80’s.

      • worstcultever

        Ah but I bet you *have* seen him, in at least something – he was that kind of low-key, “stealth,” done-a-million-things type actors.

        • another_steve

          (Wish I could cite an example, but poor memory here and I can’t…) There are a bunch of character actors who have done a thousand movies each yet no one knows their names.

          The phenomenon may have been more prevalent in movies of the early to mid-20th Century.

          • David Walker

            The Studio System’s Stable of Stars always needed actors for the other roles. Never big and always busy.

          • another_steve

            Readers of my dreck in these comment threads may know that I’m a big fan of the 1959-1964 classic “The Twilight Zone” series. (I always say “classic” to distinguish the original series from the subsequent Twilight Zone series — which included a few good episodes but were largely garbage.)

            In the classic series, there’s an uncredited character actor who appears briefly in a whole bunch of episodes. Sometimes only as part of a crowd, sometimes a bit more prominently. TZ buffs refer to him as “Bob.” I’m not sure the actor’s real name is even known.

            Among some TZ fanatics, it’s a game to identify him among the crowd, in the many episodes he appeared in.

          • Professor Barnhardt

            Do you have a picture of him?

          • another_steve

            I checked a Twilight Zone board I used to participate on. Hardcore TZ fans there… I mean, really really into the series. I’m a TZ novice compared to most contributors on that board.

            Here’s a link to a long thread dedicated to “Bob.” The very first post there indicates just how many episodes he appeared in.


            (Btw, I see the actor’s name is known: Robert L. McCord. Here’s a screenshot of him.)


          • Professor Barnhardt

            Wow, that is a lot of episodes. Jack Webb used the same characters over and and on Dragnet too, at least the ones from the late 60s. They would show on other Mark VII Productions shows too, such as “Adam-12.”



          • another_steve

            Are you into the TZ series, Professor? As you can see by what’s out there on the web, there are some real hardcore fans of it.

            There’s quite a bit of academic research regarding the series — performers, writers, music, sets, etc. There are several good books available as well as DVD box sets of the entire series.

            As I said in another comment, I used to post on that “Twilight Zone Cafe” board. It was a good board, gay-friendly for the most part. I don’t know how active it is these days however.

          • Stephen Elliot Phillips

            He was in Big with tom hanks, yes?

          • another_steve

            Yes. He played the character “Paul.”

      • lileasy

        Many years ago, while visiting the Smithsonian American History Museum in DC, an attractive docent approached me and asked me where I was from and where I had gone to school. I told her and she asked what class year. She then asked if I knew her son John Heard, who was in my class. I told her I could not place him, but asked what he was doing now. She told me he was an actor and had recently been in Cat People. I told her I had not seen the movie, but still trying to place her son, I asked what he looked like. She responded, in what I perceived to be a bit of exasperation, “he looks just like you.” Although I never ran into Mrs. Heard again, I will say I never missed another movie of this clearly good looking guy. It also turned out I was the only one of my friends who did not know John and think highly of him. Although, I have yet to see Cat People.

        • another_steve

          That’s a great story, told really well. Thanks.

          Would be wonderful if you could somehow communicate it to Heard’s survivors. I’m sure they’d love it.

          • lileasy


      • m_lp_ql_m

        That’s OK. Here I am thinking “John Hurt? I thought he died a few months back…” :/

      • Ander

        You didn’t see “Beaches?!”

        You’ll need to return the toaster.

  • kcken

    “Kevinnnnnnnnnn” !!!

  • another_steve

    (Repeating here something I just posted in another thread…)

    O/T: Sad news for my fellow D.C. area residents: Jim Vance has died.

    • Hank

      Damn… I always enjoyed watching him, when I lived in DC. My condolences to his family and friends.

    • Johnny Wyeknot

      Wow. End of an era. D.C. Is changing so fast…

      • another_steve

        The man was the epitome of style and grace. Watching him report the news was an artistic experience.

        He’ll be missed.

    • Kruhn

      Oh man! He was the NBC 4 DC Anchor. I remember him.

  • dcurlee

    RIP. Thoughts of peace to his family

  • JWC

    so Sad There have been a lot of passings in the entertainment world recently

  • AtticusP

    I loved him in “Cutter’s Way”. It was an under appreciated film that he made with Jeff Bridges, released in 1981. He was a gifted actor and will be missed.

  • Ander

    He was effective and touching in “A Trip to Bountiful” with the amazing Geraldine Page.
    I’m sorry to learn of his death.

    • worstcultever

      that was SUCH a great movie


      I LOVED that movie!!

    • Hmm, I watched “The Road to Bountiful”, don’t think the plot line was the same though.

      • Ander

        It’s been filmed three times, that I know of: first with Lillian Gish (a teleplay), then Geraldine Page (feature film, for which she won the Oscar), then with Cicely Tyson (also a television production). Horton Foote was the author.

        • That was a light snark on my part, The title in question is a gay porn flick. (Trent Reed looks like my ex-boss, his only redeeming feature.)

          • Ander


  • Do Something Nice


    • Kruhn

      Oh yeah! He was in the first Sharknado as the local drunk.

  • I remember him most from Big. Great movie.

    • Daveed_WOW

      Very good casting. Heard was naturally intense and he’s used here for comic purposes. Penny Marshall is underrated.

      • that entire movie was just…magic. All of the casting was spot on. Robert Loggia was perfect (lest we forget the piano scene).
        At the end of the movie, Elizabeth Perkins asks how old Josh really is.
        He says 12.
        She says….well…that explains it.

        • Daveed_WOW

          Perkins is one of the greats too

          • Cuberly

            She’s underused too….she was one of the main reason I watched Weeds. The character you love to hate but oddly enough at times you empathize with her.

    • Xiao Ai: The Social Gadfly

      For me it was the thriller, “Deceived” (1991) in which he played a psycho husband against Goldie Hawn.

  • Blake J Butler

    One of my favorite characters to hate from The Sopranos.

    • JD

      I pitied his character in that series. So tortured…

  • Mickey Bitsko

    Mr. Heard was quite memorable in a small part in Martin Scorcese’s “After Hours” (1985).

    • worstcultever

      God DAMN that was another great movie – thx!

    • Gerry Fisher

      I LUV that movie.

      • Phil2u

        Me, too. Griffin Dunne was super!

    • JCF

      Heh, I just (after ~15-20 sec?) noticed the background of this shot!

  • Daveed_WOW

    Please watch the intensely paranoid yet romantic Cutter’s Way:

  • Gerry Fisher

    I really appreciated his work. And having his tongue firmly planted in his cheek is part of what made “Sharknado” so much fun. RIP

  • Ninja0980

    RIP John.

  • Daveed_WOW

    Cutter’s Way*
    The Sopranos
    Chilly Scenes of Winter*
    Heart Beat*
    Cat People
    After Hours
    Trip to Bountiful
    Rambling Rose

    * leading roles

    ….he was even good enough to sell himself as Shirley MacLaine’s flakey magic hunky friend in Out on a Limb.

    • Hank

      Always had the hots for him, whenever I saw him on screen, big or small. He was a talented actor, and he will indeed be missed!!!

    • narutomania

      I first encountered him in the film “Deceived” where he co-starred with Goldie Hawn. He played a devious killer, and he played it well.

    • Phil2u

      A strange film, but he was great.

    • yes b’y

      Kiss of the Spider Woman.

      • Claude Jacques Bonhomme

        That was William Hurt.

        • yes b’y

          ty you are correct

      • Daveed_WOW

        William Hurt

        • yes b’y

          you are correcto and here I thought he didn’t age well. Oh I’m getting old and stupid.

          • Daveed_WOW

            LOL. Heard didn’t really age much at all. Mr. Hurt, however, looks his age. Bless his heart.

    • Nick in Pasadena

      Heard was excellent in After Hours, a gloriously kinky film.

  • Acronym Jim

    OT: Remember when Trump said he was going to self-fund his campaign? He apparently meant the exact opposite.

    • JWC

      Alll presidents make a financial gain while in the presidency Usually in an accepted parameters of percentage First off we don’t want Trump for 8 years let alone 4 to get those numbers for comparison Oh wait we never had an acuuratre start number ft Trump anyway

      • BobSF_94117

        Uh, no. Presidents do not normally make an actual profit on the operations of their administrations or their campaigns.

        • JWC

          I think they leave there somewhat richer than when they entered That was my point

        • leastyebejudged

          That assertion is historically inaccurate.

          • BobSF_94117

            Would “in the last 100 years” make it better?

          • leastyebejudged

            Why are you such a liar ?

          • BobSF_94117

            What president has charged the U.S. govt for hotel rooms, golf carts, etc. at resorts they own? Which one charged them for renting nearby apartments to house his own security detail? Which one directed govt meetings to conference centers he owned?

          • leastyebejudged

            Why are you such an incurious, lazy liar ?

          • BobSF_94117

            To say that I’m a liar means you think I know that what I’m saying is false. Now, why would I do that?

            As to incurious, well, I have to admit I’m not driven to find the answer — there are far more interesting things to hunt after.

            A more interesting question is why you, apparently holding proof that I’m wrong, choose to insult and demean instead of simply pointing out how I’m wrong.

            Don’t bother providing one now, though, cuz I’ll never see it. Bye.

          • leastyebejudged

            Typical intellectually lazy coward.

  • worstcultever

    (Sorta on-topic thought)

    A while back Dan Savage said (re famous people’s deaths that year) that instead of saying “lives lost” he’d rather think of it as “lives concluded.”

    Of course we use “loss” because that’s what it is to us, the still-living – but I really liked Dan’s way of putting it – to me it gives a comforting, empowering, even spiritual dimension to the thing – and above all respects the departed and his/her life by putting them in the center, rather than us.

    • David Walker

      I haven’t heard that before and it makes perfect sense. Thank you for sharing that.

    • Natty Enquirer

      But there is no “them” (or usually “him” or “her”) after death. There is only us and our memory and the evidence of a life lived.

  • bambinoitaliano
  • bambinoitaliano
    • William

      refs unperson. Rectify.

    • jerry

      And they’ve been caught illegally using the ACA promo budget to actively campaign against it. Money appropriated by Congress, in the ACA’s annual budget, has been used on social media campaigns and elsewhere to tell people not to sign up, how the ACA is supposedly failing, and how bad it is.

      • JWC

        have to get rid of the moniker ACA and use the all hated Obama Care Never admitting they were one in the same but the general public hasn’t figured that out yet

    • another_steve

      I worked in the federal government for 26 years. The “erasing of history” is not a new phenomenon, though in this fascist Trump regime the practice has been elevated to new heights.

      • BobSF_94117

        It’s quite a different thing to erase references to something that still exists and is probably helpful to the people doing the website reading.

    • Nychta

      After the election scientists and others began archiving data they anticipated would be expunged by the Trump administration.

      • gothambear

        It’s like the French when they were hiding works of fine art from the Nazi’s during WWII

        • Stephen Elliot Phillips

          More like monks hording intellectual information because the USA is in a dark age, medieval temper tantrum

  • bambinoitaliano
  • bambinoitaliano
    • Blake J Butler

      That old bat ACTUALLY has a myspace page ?

      That site is so dead now.

      • olandp

        Now? I didn’t know it even still existed after Rupert Murdoch bought it.

  • Elliott

    I thought his best role was in Deceived with Goldie. He was so good at playing someone you loved to hate. RIP.

  • Phil2u

    Does anyone remember “Out on a Limb” with Shirley Maclaine and Charles Dance? Heard was extraordinary in a small part.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    He was a wonderful actor and had many great character roles which made him an “in demand” performer. As others have rightly noted, his work in Deceived was great.

  • fuzzybits

    He was in one of my favorite movies,”The Trip To Bountiful.”

  • MaryJOGrady

    He was fantastic in “Heaven Help Us.”

  • Cuberly

    Wow, had no idea he was married to Margot Kidder from 1979-80.

    He was one of those actors that was in so many things, and everything he was in he was always outstanding.

    RIP Mr. Heard.

  • pablo

    He was super hot in Cat People. It always surprised me his career didn’t skyrocket.

    • joeyj1220

      I saw Cat People when I was 13 years old… yes, John Heard helped usher me into puberty

  • Claude Jacques Bonhomme

    The IMDB shows that he still has 6 movies in the pipeline. We will see more of him. RIP.