It is Cult Faction’s sad duty to report that Fred Ward has passed away at the age of 79 years old. Ward died on May 8th 2022, his publicist Ron Hofmann announced. No cause or place of death was disclosed, per the family’s wishes.
I decided to act when I was in the Air Force. I was going with a stripper in San Antonio, hanging out with some bizarre fringe people–who considered themselves “show people”–including this 250-pound transvestite who designed costumes for strip joints, and a few gangsters. I was a young kid in the middle of this stuff, and it led to my decision. They weren’t role models in a strict sense; more like the old freaks in the freak show. When I was younger I always felt like an outsider, and they said it was all right to be “the other.” They had a nice little society, a little culture, and they dealt with life. So, as soon as I got out of the Air Force, I went right to New York. I figured that I could do anything I wanted. I had no one to answer to, nothing holding me back.
A true hero of cult, Ward will be remembered for his roles as Remo Williams in Remo: Unarmed and Dangerous (aka Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins), Lyle Swann in Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann, as well as his role as Earl Bass in the Tremors saga. he also had roles in Quincy M.E., Tilt, Escape from Alcatraz, The Incredible Hulk, The Right Stuff, Silkwood, UFOria, Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult, Invasion: Earth, Road Trip, The Crow: Salvation, Joe Dirt, Sweet Home Alabama, and True Detective, amongst others.
When once asked about the toughest job he ever had, Ward commented:
Timber faller. It’s the most dangerous, aside from combat, that you can ever have. There are a lot of ways you can get killed. A tree can “barber chair”–come back on you. “Widowmakers,” which are dead limbs, can fall out. You can’t predict what a tree will do sometimes. You have to watch sawdust and make sure the tree’s not rotting. If it is, it might split on you. It’s dangerous, it’s hot–it’s hard work. You have a big chainsaw that’s rattling away and bouncing around, and you’re slipping and sliding and standing on land that’s sometimes nearly straight up and down. It can get crazy. On the other hand, I never wanted to work in an office under fluorescent lights.