John Heard

John Heard

Birth name: John Heard Jr.
Born: March 7, 1946
Age: 74
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., U.S.
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John Heard Jr.[1] (March 7, 1946 - July 21, 2017) was an American film and television actor. He had lead roles in several films, including Deceived, Chilly Scenes of Winter, Heart Beat, Cutter's Way, Cat People, and C.H.U.D., as well as supporting roles in After Hours, Big, Beaches, Awakenings, Rambling Rose, The Pelican Brief, My Fellow Americans, Snake Eyes, and Animal Factory. He also played Peter McCallister in Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, as well as George in Sharknado. Heard was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1999 for guest starring on The Sopranos.

Heard was born on March 7, 1946 in Washington, D.C.;[2] he was the son of Helen (Sperling), who was involved in the arts and appeared in community theatre, and John Henry Heard, who worked for the office of the Secretary of Defense.[2][3][4] Heard was raised as a Catholic.[5]

Heard attended Gonzaga College High School, Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, and Catholic University of America, in Washington, D.C.[2] He grew up with two sisters, one of whom, Cordis, is also an actress, and a brother, Matthew, who died in 1975.[3]


Acting career

In the 1970s, Heard appeared on the stage and in television and film. He appeared off-Broadway in 1974 in Mark Medoff's play The Wager and in 1975 as Guildenstern in HAMLET at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park, where he also understudied Sam Waterston as Hamlet. That fall, the production moved to the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center. Heard appeared at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in 1977 in a series of new plays. Heard won Obie Awards for his performances in Othello and Split in 1979-80. He was the male lead in the 1979 film Head Over Heels (which was renamed and re-released as Chilly Scenes of Winter in 1982).

In 1981, he had the starring role of Alex Cutter in the film Cutter's Way. In 1982, he played the lover of Nastassja Kinski, one of the main characters, in the remake of Cat People. He co-starred as photographer George Cooper in C.H.U.D. (Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers, 1984) alongside future Home Alone co-star Daniel Stern and in The Trip to Bountiful (1985). In the comedy-drama film Heaven Help Us (aka, Catholic Boys, 1985), Heard played a monk named Brother Timothy. In After Hours (also 1985), Heard was bartender Tom Schorr.

He was seen in the film The Milagro Beanfield War and had a significant role playing Paul, Tom Hanks's adult corporate competitor and jilted boyfriend of Elizabeth Perkins, in Big (both 1988). He co-starred with Bette Midler in Beaches (also 1988). In 1990 Heard starred in the philosophical film Mindwalk, in which three characters from different socialitical and poetical backgrounds express their opinions on the human experience, and around the same time, he was in Awakenings alongside Robert De Niro and Robin Williams. starred in Deceived (1991), with Goldie Hawn, playing Jack Saunders, and had a supporting role in Gladiator (1992), with Cuba Gooding Jr.

He played Daugherty in the film Radio Flyer (1992) and FBI agent Gavin Vereek in The Pelican Brief (1993). He starred with Samuel L. Jackson in 1997's One Eight Seven and was featured in the 2000 miniseries Perfect Murder, Perfect Town.

Home Alone series

In 1990, Heard starred as Peter McCallister in the comedy Home Alone. He played the part of Kevin's father who unwittingly leaves his son at home when making a Christmas trip to France. Heard chose to characterize the role with a combination of concerned dramatic acting of a father missing his son along with more classical comedic tropes.[6] The film was one of the biggest hits of 1990, and Heard reprised the role of McCallister in the sequel Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.

Television work

Heard featured in a television production of The Scarlet Letter (1979) as Arthur Dimmesdale. He played real-life Ku Klux Klan leader D. C. Stephenson in the TV miniseries Cross of Fire (1989) and played the part of David Manning in the ABC miniseries adaptation of Shirley MacLaine's Out on a Limb, a memoir of her journey toward acceptance of spiritual and extraterrestrial realities. Heard also had roles on The Sopranos as the troubled corrupt detective Vin Makazian for which he received an Emmy nomination as outstanding guest actor;as well as Mr.Detrolio father of Finn Detrolio one of Meadows' boyfriends, and later on Battlestar Galactica as Commander Barry Garner.

He had recurring roles on CSI: Miami (as Kenwall Duquesne, father of Calleigh Duquesne) and Prison Break (as Frank Tancredi, governor of Illinois and father of Sara Tancredi). Among other film and television roles in the 2000s and 2010s, he played the mayor of Chicago on two episodes of the Fox series The Chicago Code.


In 2008, Heard was asked about his career and he replied,

I guess I went from being a young leading man to being just kind of a hack actor. ... When I came to Hollywood, I was pretty much a stage actor, and I expected everybody to be quiet. And they weren't. They were doing their job, and you're expected to do your job, and you're sort of this ongoing co-existence. I was a little bit of an arrogant jerk. Now, it's a little bit more like, 'Okay, I realize you have to pat me down with powder every three seconds.' And I stand there, and I'm a little more tolerant ... I think I had my time. I dropped the ball, as my father would say. I think I could have done more with my career than I did, and I sort of got sidetracked. But that's OK, that's all right, that's the way it is. No sour grapes. I mean, I don't have any regrets. Except that I could have played some bigger parts.[7]

Personal life

Heard married actress Margot Kidder in 1979, but they separated after only six days.[8] In 1987, he had a son with ex-girlfriend Melissa Leo.[9] Heard was arrested in 1991 and charged with third-degree assault for allegedly slapping Leo.[10] In 1997, he was found guilty of trespassing at Leo's home but was acquitted of charges of trespassing at their son's school.[11]

In addition to Kidder, he was also married to Sharon Heard and Lana Pritchard. Sharon and Heard had two children together.[2] Heard and Pritchard married on May 24, 2010, in Los Angeles, and divorced about seven months later.[12] His estranged son Maxwell John Heard died on December 6, 2016, at age 22.


Heard died of a heart attack on July 21, 2017 at the age of 71. His body was found by staff in a Palo Alto, California hotel, where he was reportedly recovering after minor back surgery at Stanford University Hospital. His back surgery did not play a role in his death.[13][14] His death was confirmed by the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner's office. He was buried in South Side Cemetery in Ipswich, Massachusetts.[15][16][17][18]

Awards and honors

Source unless otherwise noted:[2]

  • 1977 Theatre World Award for his performance in G.R. Point
  • 1976-77 Obie Award, Best Performance, G.R. Point
  • 1979-80 Obie Award, Best Performance, Othello and Split
  • 1999 Emmy Award nomination, Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series (1999)

In 2003, he was inducted into the Gonzaga College High School Theatre Hall of Fame.


Over an almost 40-year career, John Heard appeared in at least 105 films and 67 television series.

Year Title Role Notes
1977 Between the Lines Harry Lucas
1977 First Love David Bonner
1978 Rush It Byron
1978 On the Yard Juleson
1979 Chilly Scenes of Winter Charles
1980 Heart Beat Jack Kerouac
1981 Cutter's Way Alex Cutter
1982 Cat People Oliver Yates
1984 C.H.U.D. George Cooper
1984 Best Revenge Charlie
1984 Violated Skipper
1985 Too Scared to Scream Sid
1985 Heaven Help Us Brother Timothy
1985 After Hours Thomas 'Tom' Schorr
1985 The Trip to Bountiful Ludie Watts
1987 Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam Johnny Boy Voice
1988 The Telephone Telephone Man
1988 The Milagro Beanfield War Charlie Bloom
1988 The Seventh Sign Reverend
1988 Big Paul Davenport
1988 Betrayed Michael Carnes
1988 Beaches John Pierce
1989 The Package Colonel Glen Whitacre
1990 Blown Away Charlie
1990 Mindwalk Thomas Harriman
1990 The End of Innocence Dean
1990 Home Alone Peter McCallister
1990 Awakenings Dr. Kaufman
1991 Rambling Rose Willcox Hillyer
1991 Deceived Jack Saunders
1992 Radio Flyer Daugherty
1992 Gladiator John Riley
1992 Waterland Lewis Scott
1992 Home Alone 2: Lost in New York Peter McCallister
1993 In the Line of Fire Professor Riger
1993 Me and Veronica Frankie
1993 The Pelican Brief Gavin Vereek
1996 Before and After Wendell Bye
1996 My Fellow Americans Ted Matthews
1997 Silent Cradle Dr. Brittain
1997 One Eight Seven Dave Childress
1997 Executive Power Walker
1997 Men George Babbington
1998 Snake Eyes Gilbert Powell
1998 Desert Blue Professor Lance Davidson
1999 Jazz Night John Little Short film
1999 Freak Weather David
2000 Animal Factory James Decker
2000 Fish Out of Water Gregor
2000 The Photographer Marcello
2000 Pollock Tony Smith
2001 Dying on the Edge John Fuller
2001 The Boys of Sunset Ridge John Burroughs
2001 O Dean Bob Brable
2001 The Secret Pact Jerome Carver
2002 Researching Raymond Burke Raymond Burke Short film
2002 Fair Play Owen Short film
2004 Under the City Scova
2004 Mind the Gap Henry Richards
2004 White Chicks Warren Vandergeld
2004 My Tiny Universe Bobby
2005 The Chumscrubber Officer Lou Bratley
2005 The Deal Professor Roseman
2005 Tracks Prison Warden
2005 Edison Captain Brian Tilman aka Edison Force
2005 Sweet Land Minister Sorrensen
2006 Steel City Carl Lee
2006 Gamers: The Movie Gordon's Dad
2006 The Guardian Captain Frank Larson
2007 Dead Lenny Dr. Robert Hooker
2007 Brothers Three: An American Gothic Father
2007 The Great Debaters Sheriff Dozier
2008 P.J. Dr. Alan Shearson
2008 Justice League: The New Frontier Ace Morgan Voice
2008 The Lucky Ones Bob
2009 Red State Blues Fritz Short film
2009 Formosa Betrayed Tom Braxton
2009 Little Hercules in 3-D Coach Nimms
2010 The Truth Jonathan Davenport
2010 Ivan's House Ivan Short film
2011 Whisper Me a Lullaby Poppy
2012 Stealing Roses Walter
2012 The Legends of Nethiah Nethiah's Father
2012 A Perfect Ending Mason Westridge
2012 Would You Rather Conway
2013 The Insomniac Paul Epstein
2013 Assault on Wall Street Jeremy Stancroft
2013 Snake and Mongoose Wally Parks
2013 Runner Runner Harry Furst
2013 Torn Detective Kalkowitz
2013 Buoyancy Frank Short film
2014 Searching for Fortune Denton Sr.
2014 Warren Jack Cavanee
2014 Animals Albert
2014 Boys of Abu Ghraib Sam Farmer
2014 The Nurse Frank
2014 One More Day Tom Short film
2015 Boiling Pot Tim Davis
2015 Counting for Thunder Garrett Stalworth
2016 Is That a Gun in Your Pocket Sheriff Parsons
2016 After the Reality Bob
2016 Jimmy Vestvood: Amerikan Hero JP Monroe
2016 So B. It Thurman Hil
2017 Last Rampage Blackwell
2017 Pray for Rain Markus Gardener
2018 The Tale Bill - Older Posthumous
2018 Living Among Us Andrew Posthumous


Year Title Role Notes
1975 Valley Forge Mr. Harvie TV Movie
1979 The Scarlet Letter Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale TV mini-series
1983 Will There Really Be a Morning? Clifford Odets TV Movie
1983 Legs Dan TV Movie
1984 Kate & Allie Max McArdle Episode: "A Weekend to Remember"
1985 Tender is the Night Abe North TV mini-series; 3 episodes
1985 Tales from the Darkside Billy Malone Episode: "Ring Around the Redhead"
1985 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Bill Callahan Episode: "Breakdown"
1986 Miami Vice Laurence Thurmond Episode: "One Way Ticket"
1987 The Equalizer Ron Parrish Episode: "In the Money"
1987 Out on a Limb David Manning TV Movie
1988 Necessity Charlie TV Movie
1989 Screen Two Michael Johnson Episode: "Virtuoso"
1989 Cross of Fire David Stephenson TV Movie
1992 Dead Ahead: The Exxon Valdez Disaster Dan Lawn TV Movie
1993 There Was a Little Boy Gregg TV Movie
1994 In Spite of Love Andrew TV Movie
1994 Because Mommy Works Ted Forman TV Movie
1994-99 Law & Order Mitch Burke / Walter Grobman 2 episodes
1995 American Masters Montresor Episode: Edgar Allan Poe: Terror of the Soul
1995 The Outer Limits Paul Stein Episode: "Dark Matters"
1995-96 The Client Roy Foltrigg 21 episodes
1999-2004 The Sopranos Detective Vin Makazian 5 episodes
2000 Perfect Murder, Perfect Town Larry Mason TV Movie
2000 The Wednesday Woman Bill Davidson TV Movie
2001 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Larry Wiegert Episode: "The Pardoner's Tale"
2001 The Big Heist Richard Woods TV Movie
2002 Touched by an Angel Allen Episode: "Secrets and Lies"
2002 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Gregory Rossovitch / Peter Sipes Episode: "Disappearing Acts"
2002 Hack Paul Ballinger Episode: "Songs in the Night"
2002 Monday Night Mayhem Roone Arledge TV Movie
2002 The Pilot's Wife Jack Lyons TV Movie
2003 Word of Honor Dr. Steven Brandt TV Movie
2003-05 CSI: Miami Kenwall Duquesne 4 episodes
2004-05 Jack & Bobby Dennis Morgenthal 5 episodes
2005 Numb3rs Peter Houseman Episode: "Soft Target"
2005 Locusts Dr. Peter Axelrod TV Movie
2005-06 Prison Break Governor Frank Tancredi 10 episodes
2006 Battlestar Galactica Commander Barry Garner Episode: "The Captain's Hand"
2006 Twenty Questions C. Colin Whitworth TV Movie
2006 The Line-Up Walter Clark TV Movie
2007 Cavemen Tripp Episode: "Her Embarrassed of Caveman"
2007-10 Entourage Richard Wimmer 2 episodes
2008 My Own Worst Enemy Peter Episode: "Down Rio Way"
2008 Skip Tracer Con Colbert TV Movie
2008 Generation Gap Principal Winters TV Movie
2009 The Beast Dr. Blake Episode: "Mercy"
2009 Southland Ben Sherman Sr. 2 episodes
2010 Gravity B.C. 3 episodes
2010 The Quickening Ed Erlich TV Movie
2011 The Chicago Code Mayor McGuinness 2 episodes
2011 Too Big to Fail Joe Gregory TV Movie
2013 Perception Congressman Evan Rickford 2 episodes
2013 Adam DeVine's House Party Dregory Episode: "Dregory"
2013 Tim & Eric's Bedtime Stories Lawyer Episode: "Haunted House"
2013 Sharknado George TV Movie
2014 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Roger Ridley Episode: "Love for Sale"
2014 Modern Family Gunther Thorpe Episode: "The Feud"
2014 Person of Interest Roger McCourt Episode: "Death Benefit"
2014 Mistresses Bruce Sappire Episode: "Coming Clean"
2014 NCIS: Los Angeles Michael Thomas 3 episodes
2015 The Lizzie Borden Chronicles William Almy TV mini-series; 2 episodes
2015 The Murder Pact John LaSalle TV Movie
2016 Elementary Henry Watson Episode: "Miss Taken"
2017 MacGyver Arthur Ericson Episode: "Pilers"
2017 APB Joe Reeves Episode: "Daddy's Home"
2017 Outsiders Lt. Governor of Kentucky Episode: "What Must Be Done"
2018 The Last Sharknado: It's About Time George Archive footage

[ Source: Wikipedia ]