- Born: March 7, 1945
- Died: July 22, 2017
John Matthew Heard Jr.
Was An American film and TV actor. He had roles in several movies including Chilly Scenes Of Winter, Cutter’s Way, Heart Beat, Cat People, C.H.U.D. , As well as supporting roles in Big, Beaches, Awakening, Snake eyes, Animal Factory Amongst Many Others.
Heard was born on March 7, 1945 in Washington, D.C., the son of Helen (Sperling), who was involved in the arts and appeared in community theatre, and John Heard, who worked for the office of the Secretary of Defense. Heard was raised Catholic; though one of his grandfathers was Jewish.
In 1990 Heard starred in arguably his most memorable mainstream role as Peter McCallister, as Kevin’s father who unwittingly leaves his son at home when making a Christmas trip to France, in the comedy hit ‘Home Alone’. 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. The film went on to be one of the biggest hits of 1990, and Heard reprised the role of McCallister in the sequel Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.
Asked about his career in 2008, Heard 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.
On July 22, 2017, it was reported that Heard was found dead in a hotel in Palo Alto, California where he was reportedly recovering after undergoing back surgery. The Santa Clara Medical Examiner’s office confirmed his death.
May His Gentle Soul Rest In Peace. Amen.