Actor John Heard (Home Alone), (The Sopranos) has died at the age of 72. Heard is probably best known for his role as Peter McAllister in 1990's Home Alone while also starring in a wide range of acting roles on TV and the big screen over the years. His breakout role was in 1979's Chilly Scenes of Winter, a big screen adaptation of a book by Ann Beattie. The movie was given mixed reviews, mainly due to the story, but Heard's performance was praised.
TMZ reports that Heard was found dead in a hotel room by maid staff in Palo Alto on Friday according to family sources. There was an emergency call placed by hotel staff, but Heard was pronounced dead at the scene. The actor had "minor" back surgery on Wednesday and was reportedly staying at the hotel to recover. The coroner is investigating the immediate cause of death, which is unknown at this time.
John Heard was born March 7th, 1945 in Washington D.C. His mother was involved in the arts and appeared in community theater presentations while his father worked for the Secretary of Defense. Heard attended Gonzaga College High School and Clark University, both in D.C. and got into acting in the early 1970s when he was in his mid 20s. He appeared off-Broadway in 1974 in Mark Medoff's play The Wager and at the Eugene O'Neil Theater Center in 1977 in a series of different plays. In 1979, he played Arthur Dimmesdale in a television production off author Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. He later won Obie Awards for his performances in Othello and Split in the early 1980s.
Starting in the late 1970s, Heard was seen in a variety of roles from television and movies. In 1981, he took on the starring role as Alex Cutter in The Cutters Way as a conspiracy-minded Vietnam veteran and then went on to star in The Cat People, C.H.UD., The Trip to Bountiful, which had him working beside future Home Alone co-star Daniel Stern. He played a bartender in Martin Scorsese's After Hours and in the late 80s he starred opposite Tom Hanks in Big and Beaches as Bette Midler's husband.
1990 saw John Hear in the role of Kevin McAllister's dad in John Hughes' Home Alone, the role for which he would arguably become best known for. He was frequently called Mr. McAllister or Kevin's dad on the street after the movie and its sequel hit theaters in the early 90s. Later Heard took roles in My Fellow Americans, The Pelican Brief, Awakenings, In the Line of Fire, Pollock, and HBO's hit show The Sopranos, where he received an Emmy nomination for his reoccurring role. Most recently Heard was seen in FX's Justified, Sharknado and Fox's APB. John Heard was inducted into the Gonzaga College High School Theater Hall of Fame for his acting over his 40-year career. Heard is survived by his three children, Jack, Max, and Annika.