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Fred Ward in Tremors

Fred (Earl) was born in San Diego and attended high school in Texas. After graduation, he joined the Air Force, and at the age of 21 decided to become an actor. He studied at the Herbert Berghof Acting Studio in New York and then moved to San Francisco where he appeared in such theatre productions as "Inacoma" and "Angel City."

In 1979, Ward played his first major screen role as Clint Eastwood's jailbreak partner in "Escape From Alcatraz." Since then, he has appeared in the films "The Right Stuff," "Silkwood," "Uncommon Valor," " Swing Shift" and "Secret Admirer," before landing his first starring role as Remo Williams in "Remo: The Adventure Begins."

Ward's other motion picture credits include "Prince of Pennsylvania," "Southern Comfort," "Off Limits," "Big Business," "Carney," "Cardiac Arrest," "Time Rider," two Roberto Rossellini films ("The Power of Cosimo" and "Cartesia"), "Uforia," "Backtrack" and most recently "Miami Blues," (Orion Pictures) which he co-produced. Ward is also starring in the upcoming film "Henry and June," directed by Philip Kaufman.

Freddie Joe "Fred" Ward (born December 30, 1942) is an American actor. He began his career in 1979 alongside Clint Eastwood in Escape from Alcatraz. He is best known for his starring roles in the motion pictures Remo Williams, Tremors, Henry & June, Short Cuts and Exit Speed. Ward also acted in European movies.

Personal life

Ward was born Freddie Joe Ward in San Diego, California, of part Cherokee Native American descent. Before acting, Ward spent three years in the United States Air Force. He was also a boxer, and worked as a lumberjack in Alaska. Ward is divorced from Silvia Ward and is currently married to Marie-France Ward.


Ward became an actor after studying at Herbert Berghof Studio and in Rome. While in Italy, he dubbed Italian movies and worked as a mime until he made his debut in two Roberto Rossellini films. Upon returning stateside in the early 1970s, Ward spent time working in experimental theater and doing some television work. He made his first American film appearance playing a cowboy in Hearts of the West (1975). His first major role came in the Clint Eastwood vehicle Escape from Alcatraz (1979) as fellow escapee John Anglin. He was also notable as a violent National Guardsman in Walter Hill's Southern Comfort (1981).

Other notable film roles include Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann (1982) (written by Michael Nesmith of The Monkees fame and with whom Ward shares the same birthdate), astronaut Gus Grissom in The Right Stuff (1983), the overbearing father in Secret Admirer (1985), the character Remo Williams in the action movie Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985), Earl Bassett in Tremors (1990), American writer Henry Miller in Henry & June, Walter Stuckel in The Player (1992), Earl Edwards in Road Trip and Ronald Reagan in the 2009 French film L'affaire Farewell.

Ward and Peter Coyote both starred in Southern Comfort and Timerider.


  • 1993: Volpi Cup – Short Cuts
  • 1993: Golden Globe – Short Cuts
  • 2001: Video Premiere Award – Full Disclosure (Nomination)
  • 2006: JTPC Award – Henry & June (Nomination?)


Year Film Role Notes
1973 The Power of Cosimo (L'età di Cosimo de Medici) Niccolò de Conti TV
1974 Cartesius TV
1975 Hearts of the West Sam
1978 Tilt
Quincy M.E.: Even Odds Crane TV Episode
1979 Escape from Alcatraz John Anglin 1
The Incredible Hulk Henchman/Marvin 2 TV Episodes
1980 UFOria Waylon Jennings Imitator, Sheldon Bart
Carny Jack
Cardiac Arrest Jamie
Belle Starr Ned Christie TV
1981 Southern Comfort Cpl. Lonnie Reece
1982 Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann Lyle Swan
1983 Silkwood Morgan 1
Uncommon Valor Wilkes 5
The Right Stuff Capt. Virgil Ivan Gus Grissom 6
1984 Swing Shift Archibald "Biscuits" Toue 9
1985 Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins Remo Williams, Samuel Edward Macon 4
Secret Admirer Lt. Lou Fimple 9
Noon Wine Royal Earle Thompson TV
1986 Florida Straits Lucky Boone TV, Later Cinema
1987 The Price of Life Short feature
The Hitchhiker: Dead Heat Luther Redmond TV Episode
1988 Catchfire Police Officer Pauling
The Prince of Pennsylvania Gary Marshetta
Big Business Roone Dimmick 3
Off Limits Sgt. Benjamin Dix 4
1990 Henry & June Henry Miller, Soundtrack 10
Miami Blues Sgt. Hoke Moseley, Producer
Tremors Earl Bassett 5
1991 Cast a Deadly Spell Det. Harry Phillips Lovecraft TV Event
The Dark Wind Joe Leaphorn
1992 Four Eyes and Six Guns Wyatt Earp TV
The Player Walter Stuckel 4
Equinox Mr. Paris
Thunderheart Jack Milton 5
Bob Roberts TV News Anchor Chip Daley
1993 Luck, Trust & Ketchup Himself Documentary
Short Cuts Stuart Kane
Two Small Bodies Lieutenant Brann Festival event, also TV production
1994 Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult Rocco Dillon 1
1995 Un bruit qui rend fou Frank, the sailor Festival event
1996 The West Himself (voice) Documentary
Chain Reaction FBI Agent Leon Ford 4
Tremors 2: Aftershocks Earl Bassett Direct-to-video
1997 …First Do No Harm Dave Reimüller TV Event
Best Men Sheriff Bud Phillips
Gun (TV Series): Father John John Farragut TV Episode
1998 The Making of Tremors Himself/Earl Bassett (Archive Footage) Documentary
The Vivero Letter Andrew Fallon
Invasion: Earth (TV series) Major General David Reece TV-Mini-Series
Dangerous Beauty Domenico Venier 16
1999 The Crimson Code Randall Brooks
2000 The Crow: Salvation John, the Police Captain
Ropewalk David's Father
The Chaos Factor Max Camden
Circus Elmo Somerset 96
Road Trip Earl Edwards 3
Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis "Black Jack" Bouvier TV
2001 Summer Catch Sean Dunne 6
Corky Romano Leo Corrigan 3
Joe Dirt Joe's Dad 4
Full Disclosure John McWhirter Direct-to-video
Wild Iris Errol Podubney TV Event
Dice Gacy/Noah Aldis TV-Mini-Series
2002 Live from Baghdad (Archive Footage) TV Special/Documentary
Enough Jupiter 5
Sweet Home Alabama Earl Smooter 1
A.K.A. Birdseye Sheriff Nolan Sharpless
Abandon Lieutenant Bill Stayton 7
2003 Masked & Anonymous Drunk 45
T-20 Years and Counting Gus Grissom/Himself (Archive Footage) Documentary
Realizing "The Right Stuff" Himself Documentary
"Masked & Anonymous" Exposed Special Thanks Documentary
2004 The Last Ride Darryl Kurtz TV Event
10.5 Roy Nolan TV Event
Coast to Coast Hal Kressler TV Event
2006 ER Eddie TV Series
Grey's Anatomy: What I am Mr. Denny Duquette, Sr. TV Episode
2007 Feast of Love Bat
The Wild Stallion Frank Mills
2008 Management Jerry
Exit Speed Sergeant Archie Sparks
2009 Armored Ashcroft
L'affaire Farewell Ronald Reagan
2010 In Plain Sight Frank Jerome Episode 3.6