john heard home alone

It's a sad day, as actor John Heard, best known for his role as Kevin McCallister's dad, Peter, in the Home Alone movies, has died at the age of 72.

Members of John Heard's family have told TMZ that the actor was found dead by maid service at a hotel he was staying in. The police were brought to the hotel when someone reported a medical emergency, but by the time they arrived at the actor's room it was too late. Heard was pronounced dead on the scene, but the coroner will investigate, since his cause of death is not known at this time. The police, however, do not suspect that any foul play was involved.

A representative for John Heard has noted that the actor had "minor back surgery" this Wednesday at Stanford Medical Center, and was staying at the hotel during his recovery time.

John Heard began his professional career by doing off-Broadway plays in the mid-1970s. He quickly made the move to working in television, and made his debut in the made for TV movie Valley Forge in 1975. The Washington, D.C. native became a regular on TV and in movies, racking up 179 credits during his long career. The 1980s would see him land leading roles in films like Cutter's Way, Cat People, Heart Beat and C.H.U.D. Heard also won acclaim for his supporting parts in popular films such as The Trip to Bountiful, The Milagro Beanfield War, Big, Beaches, Awakenings, Rambling Rose, The Pelican Brief and My Fellow Americans.

Heard's TV work would see him lend his talents to many shows and made for TV movies through this year. He made appearances in Kate & Allie, Tales from the Darkside, Tender Is the Night, Miami Vice, The Equalizer, The Client, Law & Order, Battlestar Galactica, Southland and Entourage. In 1999 he was nominated for an Emmy for his guest role as troubled and corrupt detective Vin Makazian on The Sopranos. His most recent television work included Elementary, MacGyver, APB and Outsiders. Heard had six projects in various stages of production, and there's no word yet how any of those may be impacted by his passing.

Even though John Heard was accomplished in a wide variety of mediums, as I mentioned above, he will forever be known to a generation of movie fans as Kevin's dad in Home Alone (which was the highest grossing film of 1990) and Home Alone 2: Lost In New York, which was released in 1992. As Peter, Heard was the quintessential concerned dad, whose reserve hid his obvious love for Kevin.

John Heard is survived by his three children. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this difficult time.

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