Pop Culture

Actor John Heard, Who Played Dad in ‘Home Alone’ Films, Dies at 71

LOS ANGELES — John Heard, best known as Peter McAllister in the "Home Alone" movies and who appeared in a wide range of TV and film roles, has died at 71.

He was found dead in a Palo Alto, California, hotel where he was recovering after undergoing minor back surgery Wednesday, Heard's manager told NBC News. The Santa Clara Medical Examiner's office also confirmed his death and said the cause is pending further testing.

"Based on the investigation conducted thus far, there is no evidence of foul play," the office said in a statement.

Image: Actor John Heard poses for a portrait at the Getty Images Portrait Studio during the 2006 Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 20, 2006 in Park City, Utah.
Actor John Heard poses for a portrait at the Getty Images Portrait Studio during the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 20, 2006, in Park City, Utah. Mark Mainz / Getty Images

Manager Tammy Hunt said that Heard will be "very much missed by his family, friends, and his many fans."

"John was one of those people that you meet and know immediately that he is one of a kind," she said in a statement. "A true professional and dear gentleman."

The prolific actor also appeared in "Cat People," "After Hours," "Big," "Beaches," "Gladiator," and on TV in "Miami Vice" and "The Sopranos," for which he won an Emmy nomination.

Born in Washington, D.C., Heard started out acting off-Broadway. His first major role came in the romantic comedy "Chilly Scenes of Winter" in 1979.

His memorable roles in the 1980s included starring in "Cutter's Way," playing Nastassja Kinski's lover in the 1983 remake of "Cat People," and starring alongside "Home Alone" actor Daniel Stern in 1984's "C.H.U.D." In Martin Scorsese's "After Hours," he played the bartender Tom Schorr. His other films during that period included "The Trip to Bountiful," "Heaven Help Us" and "The Milagro Beanfield War."

In 1988, he starred as Elizabeth Perkins' jilted boyfriend in "Big" and co-starred with Bette Midler in "Beaches."

His other roles included "Gladiator," "Awakenings," "Radio Flyer," and "The Pelican Brief," in which he played an FBI agent.

Heard was married to actress Margot Kidder and had a son from a relationship with actress Melissa Leo. He is also survived by a son and a daughter from a later marriage.

Friends and fans were heartbroken by the news and shared remembrances of Heard on social media:

CORRECTION (July 22, 4:25 p.m.): An earlier version of this article misstated the age of John Heard when he died. He was 71, not 72.