Actor Fred Ward, best known for his role in The Right Stuff, has died aged 79

Veteran film and TV actor Fred Ward, 79, best known for playing gruff and tough roles in movies such as Tremors, Escape from Alcatrazand The good thingdied on Sunday, his publicist announced on Friday.

No cause or place of death has been released, in accordance with his family’s wishes, publicist Ron Hofmann said.

Ward took a circuitous route to becoming an actor, having served three years in the US Air Force in the 1960s, then working as an Alaskan lumberjack, boxer (where his nose broke three times) and short-term cook. duration, according to a biography provided by Hofmann.

Her career spanned more than four decades, beginning with foreign films in the early 1970s and stretching to 2015 with her final role in the television series. real detectiveaccording to its online IMBD page.

Ward in 2011 when it premiered 30 Minutes or Less. The veteran actor died on Sunday. (Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

He made his first American film appearance playing a cowboy in the 1975 film, hearts of the west. But his breakthrough role came when he starred alongside Clint Eastwood in the 1979 film Escape from Alcatraz.

“The unique thing about Fred Ward is that you never knew where he was going to show up, his career choices were so unpredictable,” the statement read.

He’s played everything from astronaut, cowboy, Vietnam War soldier, chain-smoking police detective turned assassin, to giant worm-fighting hero, according to the communicated.

In 1983, he played Mercury 7 astronaut Virgil “Gus” Grissom in the adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s book, The good thing. That same year, he appeared in the action movie Uncommon Courage with Gene Hackman and in the drama silk wood with Meryl Streep.

Ward won a Golden Globe and the Venice Film Festival Ensemble Prize for his performance in Shortcuts in 1993, according to his biography.

He is survived by his wife of 27 years, Marie-France Ward, and a son, Django Ward.