Kevin McCallister’s dad from Home Alone died. TMZ says actor John Heard‘s body was found in a hotel in Palo Alto, CA yesterday by maid services, according to “family sources.” He was 72. For those of you in my age range, join me in accepting that everything you know, love, and clung to as a child for comfort and warmth is pretty much gone. What’s left? Who’s left? Betty White? Luckily, she sold her soul to Satan for longevity and good fortune, so she’s safe. Someone bubble-wrap E.T. before they reboot it.
Despite emergency medical services being called, John was pronounced dead at the scene. His cause of death is unknown right now, but the police say they don’t suspect foul play. TMZ says that John had “minor back surgery” at Stanford Medical Center on Wednesday and was recovering at the hotel.
Besides his most visible role in Home Alone as a father who finds Macauley Culkin irritating enough to leave behind, as he and the rest of the family flee to Europe, John had a vast body of film and television work. Films that he appeared in included Big, Beaches, Awakenings, The Pelican Brief, and Pollock amongst many others (including White Chicks and Sharknado!). His TV credits included The Sopranos, Modern Family, Law & Order and a slew more.
John was married three times (his first ex-wife was Margot Kidder), and he had three children. His son John Matthew (“Jack“) Heard was with ex-girlfriend Melissa Leo. They had a tumultuous breakup that you can read about here, because this is an obit-type thing. I wouldn’t want all MY mistakes in my obit. No one needs to read in the Boston Globe that I was once a Fanta Girl.
Heard acknowledged his status as a character actor in a 2008 interview (via Wikipedia):
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.
Rest in peace, Mr. Heard.