The death has been announced of the American actor Fred Ward, best known for his roles in the films The Right Stuff and Tremors, and the television series True Detective.

US entertainment trade publication the Hollywood Reporter says that Ward died last Sunday, 8 May. As per his family's wishes, no cause or place of death was announced.

San Diego-born Ward became an actor after working as a lumberjack and serving in the US Air Force. One of his key early roles was opposite Clint Eastwood in the true story Escape from Alcatraz, playing real-life escapee John Anglin.

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Ward went on to portray astronaut Gus Grissom in the historical epic The Right Stuff and star opposite Meryl Streep in another film based on real events, Silkwood - the biographical drama about the life of nuclear plant whistleblower Karen Silkwood.

Ward was cast in the lead role in the 1985 action movie Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins. Conceived as a franchise, it fared poorly at the box office but has since become a cult 80s movie.

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Ward's other cult favourites included the survival thriller Southern Comfort and the horror Tremors.

He portrayed the author Henry Miller in the 1990 erotic drama Henry & June and was part of the ensembles for director Robert Altman's The Player and Short Cuts.

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Among his many other film credits were Uncommon Valor, Swing Shift, Bob Roberts, Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult, and Sweet Home Alabama. On the small screen, Ward's credits included the TV series ER and True Detective, playing the father of Colin Farrell's character in the latter.

Paying tribute, Ward's Tremors co-star Kevin Bacon wrote: "When it came to battling underground worms, I couldn't have asked for a better partner. I will always remember chatting about his love of Django Reinhardt and jazz guitar during our long, hot days in the high desert. Rest In Peace, Fred."

Here are some of the other tributes: