Allie Medlin

Written by Allie Medlin

Modified & Updated: 01 Jun 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


When it comes to versatile and talented actors, few can match the incredible career of Fred Ward. From his breakout role in the iconic film “Escape from Alcatraz” to his memorable appearances in “Tremors” and “Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins,” Ward has consistently captivated audiences with his remarkable performances.

But there’s much more to Fred Ward than meets the eye. This article will delve into 14 astounding facts about the life and career of this esteemed actor, shedding light on his early years, his notable collaborations, and his remarkable achievements. Prepare to be amazed as we explore the fascinating world of Fred Ward, a true legend in the world of entertainment.

Key Takeaways:

  • Fred Ward’s diverse career spans breakout roles in “Escape from Alcatraz” and “Tremors,” showcasing his talent for drama and comedy, earning him a dedicated fan following.
  • From award-winning films like “The Right Stuff” to TV series like “Miami Vice,” Fred Ward’s versatility as an actor has left a lasting impact on the entertainment industry.
Table of Contents

Fred Ward’s breakout role was in the film “Escape from Alcatraz.”

In this 1979 film, Fred Ward portrayed the character of John Anglin, one of the inmates who famously escaped from the maximum-security prison on Alcatraz Island. His performance garnered attention and marked the beginning of his successful acting career.

He starred alongside Kevin Bacon in the cult classic “Tremors.”

Released in 1990, “Tremors” became a beloved monster movie and showcased Fred Ward’s talent for both action and comedy. His portrayal of Earl Bassett, a handyman facing off against giant underground creatures, earned him a dedicated fan following.

Fred Ward played the lead role in the crime drama series “Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins.”

In this 1985 television adaptation of the popular “Destroyer” book series, Ward played the title character Remo Williams, a martial arts expert and government agent. Despite positive reviews, the show was short-lived, but it further showcased Ward’s versatility as an actor.

He starred in the award-winning film “The Right Stuff.”

Released in 1983, “The Right Stuff” is a historical drama that chronicles the early days of the American space program. Fred Ward brought his talent to the role of Gus Grissom, one of the original Mercury Seven astronauts, alongside a stellar ensemble cast.

Fred Ward appeared in the blockbuster hit “Armageddon.”

In this 1998 science fiction disaster film, Fred Ward played the role of Colonel Davis, one of the military personnel involved in a mission to save Earth from an approaching asteroid. The film was a commercial success and further solidified his presence in Hollywood.

He had a recurring role in the TV series “The Crow: Stairway to Heaven.”

From 1998 to 1999, Fred Ward portrayed the character of Lonnie, the owner of a nightclub in this supernatural crime drama series based on the popular “Crow” franchise. His portrayal added depth and intrigue to the show’s dark and atmospheric world.

Fred Ward starred alongside Dennis Quaid in the film “The Big Easy.”

Released in 1987, “The Big Easy” is a crime drama set in New Orleans. Fred Ward played the role of Deputy D.A. Quill, while Dennis Quaid starred as a police detective. The film received positive reviews for its captivating storytelling and strong performances.

He played a memorable role in the film “Silkwood.”

Fred Ward appeared in this 1983 biographical drama alongside Meryl Streep and Kurt Russell. His portrayal of Morgan, the boyfriend of Meryl Streep’s character, showcased his ability to bring depth and emotion to supporting roles.

Fred Ward starred as Hickey in the Broadway revival of “The Iceman Cometh.”

In 1999, Fred Ward took on the challenging role of Hickey in the revival of Eugene O’Neill’s classic play on Broadway. His powerful performance earned critical acclaim and demonstrated his talent in live theater.

He appeared in the action-comedy film “Chain Reaction.”

Released in 1996, “Chain Reaction” starred Fred Ward alongside Keanu Reeves and Rachel Weisz. The film follows the duo as they uncover a conspiracy involving a renewable energy breakthrough. Ward’s portrayal of a government agent added depth to the gripping plot.

Fred Ward played a supporting role in the film “Road Trip.”

In this 2000 comedy film, Fred Ward portrayed Earl Edwards, the father of one of the main characters. His comedic timing and presence added memorable moments to the outrageous road trip adventure.

He had a recurring role in the TV series “Miami Vice.”

From 1985 to 1989, Fred Ward appeared in the popular crime drama series “Miami Vice” as Detective Joe Rice. His involvement in the show added depth to the crime-solving team and showcased his versatility as an actor.

Fred Ward starred in the film “Equinox.”

Released in 1992, “Equinox” is a science fiction thriller that revolves around time travel. Fred Ward took on the lead role of a detective tracking down a serial killer with the ability to manipulate time. His performance captivated audiences and contributed to the film’s intrigue.

He appeared in the critically acclaimed film “Henry & June.”

In this 1990 biographical drama, Fred Ward played the role of Henry Miller, a renowned American writer. The film explores the complex relationship between Miller, his wife June, and the writer Anaïs Nin. Ward’s nuanced portrayal added depth to the thought-provoking narrative.


Fred Ward is a talented and versatile actor who has made a significant impact in the entertainment industry. With a career spanning several decades, he has showcased his remarkable acting skills in various genres, from action-packed films to heartfelt dramas. From his memorable roles in movies like “Tremors” and “Escape from Alcatraz” to his impressive performances on television shows like “The Right Stuff,” Fred Ward has left an indelible mark on audiences worldwide.Not only is Fred Ward an accomplished actor, but he is also a dedicated and hardworking professional. Throughout his career, he has consistently delivered captivating performances that have garnered critical acclaim and a loyal fan following. With his natural charisma and ability to effortlessly portray diverse characters, Fred Ward continues to captivate audiences with his on-screen presence.In conclusion, Fred Ward is a true talent in the entertainment industry. His remarkable career, versatility, and dedication to his craft have solidified his status as a respected and admired actor. As fans eagerly await his future projects, one thing is certain – Fred Ward’s contributions to the world of cinema will continue to be celebrated for years to come.


1. When was Fred Ward born?

Fred Ward was born on December 30, 1942.

2. Which movies are Fred Ward best known for?

Fred Ward is best known for his roles in movies like “Tremors,” “Escape from Alcatraz,” and “The Right Stuff.”

3. Has Fred Ward received any awards for his performances?

While Fred Ward has not received major awards, his performances have been widely praised by critics and audiences alike.

4. What other projects has Fred Ward been a part of?

Aside from acting in movies and television shows, Fred Ward has also dabbled in writing and directing.

5. Is Fred Ward still active in the entertainment industry?

Yes, Fred Ward is still actively involved in the entertainment industry and continues to take on exciting projects.

Fred Ward's captivating career spans decades, leaving fans eager for more. Dive into the gritty world of "Miami Blues," where Ward's performance shines. "Uncommon Valor" showcases his versatility in a gripping tale of bravery. And who could forget the cult classic "Tremors," where Ward battles underground creatures with Kevin Bacon? Explore these fascinating films and uncover the depths of Ward's talent.

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