Mort: Fred Ward

After the fact, word drifted in that Fred Ward died on Sunday May 9 at the age of 79.

Got to note it here since — as pictured above — Fred was the first to essay the role of Charles Willeford’s Miami cop Hoke Moseley in the 1990 film Miami Blues. In addition, he served as Executive Producer, the guy who got the whole thing going.

In crime terms, he also played Joe Leaphorn in The Dark Wind (1991), and did a fun mashup in the role of Harry Philip Lovecraft — HPL meets Philip Marlowe — that same year in the TV movie Cast a Deadly Spell. Remo Williams. Lots of big budget movies, but if you haven’t seen it I’d plug UFOria (1984) as one of my favorites from his body of work.

And of course the stone cold instant classic Tremors from 1990.

I spotted him in a waiting area in SFO around 15 years ago. Standing, reading a 1950s or early 60s paperback. None of the other people swarming around seemed to be aware of him.

Normally, I wouldn’t intrude on a celebrity, but — FRED WARD.

I went over and talked for a few minutes about Willeford and his movie. He was in San Francisco to audition for something — a play, I think it was. Didn’t disappoint — I can’t say for sure that he was actually acting in Tremors or just being himself.

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