Originally, I was going to devote this latest edition of Lisa Marie’s Favorite Grindhouse Trailers to all of the Friday the 13th films but then I heard the sad news that the great character actor Fred Ward had passed away at the age of 79. Needless to say, I changed my plans. There will be many Friday the 13ths but there was only one Fred Ward.
Fred Ward lived a life that could have been a movie. He ran away from home at a young age. He spent three years in the Air Force. He spent some time as a boxer. He worked as a lumberjack in Alaska. He worked as a cook. He worked as a janitor. He spent some time in Rome, dubbing Italian films for the American market. Much like Lance Henriksen, someone from Fred Ward’s tough background may have seemed like an unlikely actor but he proved himself to be one of our most memorable. Ward brought an authenticity to even the wildest of parts. He was a smart actor who could play dumb and, by most accounts, a down-to-Earth nice guy who could be totally intimidating on screen. He was one of the best. Here are 6 Fred Ward trailers.
- Time Rider (1983)
After appearing in a few supporting roles (most memorably as a trigger-happy redneck in Southern Comfort), Fred Ward had his first starring role in Time Rider. In this film, Ward plays a dirt bike rider who travels through time.
2. Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985)
After playing tragic astronaut Gus Grissom in 1983’s The Right Stuff, Ward was cast as Remo Williams in Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins. Ward performed all of his own stunts and, if the film had been a success, he would have had a chance to be an American James Bond. Unfortunately, Remo Williams bombed at the box office and was only later appreciated by fans of action cinema.
3. Tremors (1990)
Perhaps the most beloved of all of Fred Ward’s films, this horror comedy featured Ward, Kevin Bacon, and a bunch of killer worms. What could have been a standard B-movie was elevated by a witty script, energetic direction, and Bacon and Ward’s playful performances. The way that Ward and Bacon bounced dialogue off of each other was almost as fun as all the monster mayhem.
4. Miami Blues (1990)
The same year that Tremors came out, Ward co-starred with Alec Baldwin and Jennifer Jason Leigh in Miami Blues, a film that showed all three of those performers at their best.
5. Cast a Deadly Spell (1991)
In this film, which was made for HBO, Fred Ward plays a role that was perfect for him. He’s a tough, hard-boiled P.I. working the mean streets of Los Angeles in 1948. The catch? In this version of 1948, everyone uses magic! This is a fun movie and I recommend it to everyone.
6. Full Disclosure (2001)
Even though Ward’s career as a leading man slowed down a bit in recent years, he still appeared in movies and often, he was the best (any maybe only) reason to watch them. I’ve never seen Full Disclosure but if I ever do track it down, it will be because of Fred Ward.
Fred Ward, R.I.P.