John Heard, the veteran TV and film actor best known for playing the father in the “Home Alone” movies, was found dead Friday in a hotel room in Palo Alto, TMZ reported.
The 72-year-old actor was reportedly staying at the undisclosed hotel to recover from minor back surgery he had at Stanford Medical Center on Wednesday, his representative told TMZ. Family sources tell TMZ he was found by the maid service, and police responded to the hotel for a report of a medical emergency.
A spokesperson with the Palo Alto Police Department confirmed to People that a person matching Heard’s description was found at the hotel, and he was deceased. His death is not “considered suspicious at this time.”
The Santa Clara County Medical Examiner’s Office is investigating the cause of death, which is unclear at this time. A representative for the office confirmed that Heard, whose residence is Studio City, was found at a hotel on Friday afternoon. He said the office isn’t releasing any further information, including the name of the hotel, but that an autopsy may be scheduled at a later date.
A spokeswoman for Stanford Medical Center did not immediately return calls and emails Saturday morning.
Heard played Peter McCallister, the father of Macaulay Culkin’s character, in the “Home Alone” movies.
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Born in Washington, D.C., he got his start in theater before moving into film and TV in the early 1980s. He had roles as Tom Hanks’ competitor in “Big” in 1988, co-starred with Bette Midler in “Beaches” and played a doctor with Robin Williams and Robert DeNiro in “Awakenings” in 1990. He also had roles in TV shows such as “The Sopranos,” for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1999 for playing a corrupt detective. He also appeared in “Battlestar Galactica” and “CSI: Miami.” He was also in the first “Sharknado” TV movie in 2013.
Heard was briefly married to actress Margot Kidder in 1979, had a relationship and a son with actress Melissa Leo, and was married two more times. He is survived by three children.
Tributes from fans and colleagues poured in on social media, many hailing him as a versatile actor who created memorable roles in some of the most beloved movies.
Actress Dana Delany wrote that Heard was “it” when she started acting: