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John Heard (1945 - 2017)

Gerry Goodstein / NBC / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

John Heard (1945 - 2017)

John Heard, the actor who played the father in “Home Alone,” died Friday, July 21, 2017, according to multiple news sources. He was 72.

Heard died at a hotel in Palo Alto, California, where he was recovering from back surgery performed at nearby Stanford Medical Center, according to TMZ. The cause of death has not been determined, but foul play is not suspected, according to the Santa Clara Medical Examiner’s Office.

He was known to audiences for playing Peter McCallister in the first two “Home Alone” movies. Alongside co-star Catherine O’Hara, Heard played the role of overwhelmed and absent-minded father with genuine concern. The character was an essential part of what made the family comedies, starring a young Macaulay Culkin, blockbuster successes.


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Born March 7, 1945, in Washington, D.C., he began his acting career off-Broadway in New York City. He was a leading man in his early films, like “Chilly Scenes of Winter,” and he co-starred with Jeff Bridges in “Cutter’s Way.” He transitioned to playing supporting roles in several notable films, including “Big” with Tom Hanks and “Beaches” with Bette Midler.

He also starred in cult classics like “C.H.U.D.” alongside future “Home Alone” star Daniel Stern, and the more recent “Sharknado.”

He received an Emmy nomination for his role as a corrupt detective on “The Sopranos” and had a substantial guest appearance on “Battlestar Galactica.”

He was married three times, including a brief marriage to “Superman” star Margot Kidder. He also had a lengthy relationship with Oscar-winner Melissa Leo. The couple had one child.

Heard is survived by three children.

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