R.I.P. John Heard, Star of ‘Home Alone’ and ‘Big’

John Heard, a prolific character actor whose career spanned over four decades, has died. The star of Home Alone and Big was found in a hotel in Palo Alto, CA, where he was recovering after a recent back surgery (via TMZ). He was 72 years old.

John Heard made his screen acting debut in the 1975 tv movie Valley Forge but quickly became an almost ubiquitous presence, with lead roles in respectable films like Cutter’s Way and less-than-respectable-but-still-very-much-awesome films like the horror thriller C.H.U.D. (which stands for “Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers”).

He would eventually settle into a very long and successful career playing supporting roles in beloved films like Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (where he played Macauley Culkin’s father), as well as the Oscar-nominated comedy Big and, more recently, as an ill-fated barfly in the cult hit Sharknado. John Heard’s extensive tv career also featured recurring roles in The SopranosCSI: Miami, and NCIS: Los Angeles.

Character actors like John Heard have an enormous impact on the industry, whether or not they necessarily receive their rewards in the limelight. His presence was felt, his skill made movies and television shows better, and he will be missed.

Top Photo: Gerry Goodstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

William Bibbiani (everyone calls him ‘Bibbs’) is Crave’s film content editor and critic. You can hear him every week on The B-Movies Podcast and Canceled Too Soon, and watch him on the weekly YouTube series What the Flick. Follow his rantings on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.