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Actor John Heard Passes

PALO ALTO, CA (CelebrityAccess) — Actor John Heard, perhaps best known for his role as the forgetful father in the comedic "Home Alone" movies, died on Friday in Palo Alto, California. He was 71.

According to the New York Times, Heard had recently undergone surgery for back pain at Stanford University Medical Center and was recovering at a nearby hotel, when he was found dead by a hotel staff member.

The Santa Clara County medical examiner’s office said the cause was under investigation, the Times reported.

While Heard started his acting career with more serious roles on the stage and screen, including his performance as a disabled Vietnam veteran in the 1981 film “Cutter’s Way,” he gained widespread public recognition for lighter fare, including "Home Alone" and "Big" with Tom Hanks.

Other film roles for Heard included “Beaches” (1988), “Gladiator” (1992) and “The Pelican Brief” (1993) as well as television roles in shows such as "Miami Vice" and "The Sopranos."

He is survived by his daughter as well as a sister, Cordis Heard, and a son, John M. Heard III, from a previous relationship with the actress Melissa Leo. His son Max preceded him in death in 2016.