John Heard (actor)

John Heard
Born John Matthew Heard, Jr.
(1945-03-07) March 7, 1945
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1974–present
Known for Home Alone
After Hours
The Pelican Brief
Cat People
Cutter's Way
Spouse(s) Margot Kidder (1979-1980)
Sharon Heard (1988-1996) (2 children)
Lana Pritchard (2010-2010)
Partner(s) Melissa Leo (formerly) (1 child)
Children John Matthew Heard III (b. 1987)
Max Heard
Annika Heard

John Matthew Heard, Jr. (born March 7, 1945)[1] is an American film and television actor. His credits include The Sopranos, C.H.U.D., After Hours, Big, The Milagro Beanfield War, Awakenings, Home Alone, Radio Flyer, The Pelican Brief, Snake Eyes, Animal Factory, Beaches, Cutter's Way, Rambling Rose, Between the Lines, White Chicks, Cat People, Chilly Scenes of Winter, and Sharknado.

Early life

Heard was born in Washington, D.C., the son of John Matthew Sr. and Helen Heard.[1] He attended Gonzaga College High School; Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts; and Catholic University of America, in Washington, D.C.[1] He grew up with two sisters, one of whom, Cordis, is also an actress, and a brother, Matthew, who died in 1975.

Acting career

John Heard with actress JoBeth Williams on The Client in 1996.

In the 1970s, Heard appeared on the stage, television and film. He appeared off-Broadway in 1974 in Mark Medoff's play The Wager and at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in 1977 in a series of new plays. In 1979 he played Arthur Dimmesdale in a television production of The Scarlet Letter. Heard won Obie Awards for his performances in Othello and Split in 1979–80. He was the male lead in the 1979 film Head Over Heels (which was renamed and rereleased as Chilly Scenes of Winter in 1982).

In 1981, he had the starring role of Alex Cutter in the film Cutter's Way. He played the lover of Nastassja Kinski, one of the main characters, in the remake of Cat People. In 1984, he co-starred as photographer George Cooper in C.H.U.D. (Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers) alongside future Home Alone co-star Daniel Stern. The Trip to Bountiful is a 1985 film in which he had a starring role. In Heaven Help Us (also known as Catholic Boys), John Heard played as a monk named Brother Timothy in the 1985 comedy-drama film. In After Hours that same year, Heard was bartender Tom Schorr.

In 1988 he was seen in the film The Milagro Beanfield War. Later that year he had a notable role playing Paul, Tom Hanks's adult corporate competitor and jilted boyfriend of Elizabeth Perkins, in Big. He co-starred with Bette Midler in Beaches in 1988, and played real-life Ku Klux Klan leader D.C. Stephenson in the TV-miniseries Cross of Fire in 1989. In 1991, he starred in Deceived (opposite Goldie Hawn), playing Jack Saunders, and in 1992, he starred in Gladiator, opposite Cuba Gooding, Jr.

In 1990, Heard starred in the philosophical film Mindwalk, in which three characters from different socialitical and poetical backgrounds express their opinions on the human experience; that year, he was also in Awakenings alongside Robert De Niro and Robin Williams. Also in 1992, he played Daugherty in the film Radio Flyer. In 1993 he played FBI agent Gavin Vereek in The Pelican Brief. In 1994 he played the part of David Manning in the ABC miniseries Out on a Limb, which depicted Shirley MacLaine's written account, of the same name, of her journey toward acceptance of spiritual and extraterrestrial realities. He starred with Samuel L. Jackson in 1997's One Eight Seven and was featured in the 2000 miniseries Perfect Murder, Perfect Town.

Peter Mcallister in the Home Alone series

In 1990 Heard would star in arguably his most memorable role as Peter Mcallister in the hugely successful comedy hit Home Alone. Heard featured prominently as Kevin's father who unwittingly leaves his son at home when making a Christmas trip to France. The film went on to be one of the biggest hits of 1990, and has been considered a Christmas classic ever since. Heard reprised the role of Mcallister in the sequel Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Despite a prolific career, Heard still remains most recognisable from the role of Peter Mcallister.

Television work

He has had roles on The Sopranos as the troubled corrupt detective Vin Makazian for which he received an Emmy nomination as outstanding guest actor, and on Battlestar Galactica as Commander Barry Garner.

He had recurring roles on CSI: Miami (as Kenwall Duquesne, father of Calleigh Duquesne) and Prison Break (as Frank Tancredi, governor of Illinois and father of Sara Tancredi). Among other film and television roles in the 2000s and 2010s, he played the mayor of Chicago on two episodes of the Fox series The Chicago Code.

He has been announced he will playing the elderly billionaire in the adaption of John Grisham's novel The Testament.


Asked about his career in 2008, Heard replied,

I guess I went from being a young leading man to being just kind of a hack actor. ... When I came to Hollywood, I was pretty much a stage actor, and I expected everybody to be quiet. And they weren't. They were doing their job, and you're expected to do your job, and you're sort of this ongoing co-existence. I was a little bit of an arrogant jerk. Now, it's a little bit more like, 'Okay, I realize you have to pat me down with powder every three seconds.' And I stand there, and I'm a little more tolerant.... I think I had my time. I dropped the ball, as my father would say. I think I could have done more with my career than I did, and I sort of got sidetracked. But that's OK, that's alright, that's the way it is. No sour grapes. I mean, I don't have any regrets. Except that I could have played some bigger parts.[2]

Personal life

Heard was married for six days to actress Margot Kidder in 1979.[3] He has a son, John Matthew "Jack" Heard, with ex-girlfriend Melissa Leo.[4] Heard was arrested in 1991 and charged with third-degree assault for allegedly slapping Leo.[5] In 1997, he was found guilty of trespassing Leo's home in Baltimore, Maryland's Fell's Point neighborhood, but acquitted of charges of trespassing at their son's school.[6] He has two other former wives, Sharon Heard and Lana Pritchard. Sharon and Heard have two children together, son Max and a daughter named Annika.[1] Heard and Pritchard married on May 24, 2010, in Los Angeles and divorced on December 22nd 2010 after nearly 7 months of marriage.[7]

Awards and honors

Source unless otherwise noted:[1]

In 2003, he was inducted into the Gonzaga College High School Theatre Hall of Fame.


Year Title Role Notes
1977 Between the Lines Harry Lucas
1977 First Love David
1978 Rush It Byron
1978 On the Yard Juleson
1979 Chilly Scenes of Winter Charles
1980 Heart Beat Jack Kerouac
1981 Cutter's Way Alex Cutter
1982 Cat People Oliver Yates
1984 Violated Skipper
1984 C.H.U.D. George Cooper
1984 Best Revenge Charlie
1985 Too Scared to Scream Sid
1985 Heaven Help Us Brother Timothy
1985 After Hours Tom Schorr
1985 The Trip to Bountiful Ludie Watts
1987 Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam Johnny Boy Voice
1988 The Telephone Telephone Man
1988 The Milagro Beanfield War Charlie Bloom
1988 The Seventh Sign Reverend
1988 Big Paul Davenport
1988 Betrayed Michael Carnes
1988 Beaches John Pierce
1989 The Package Colonel Glen Whitacre
1990 Blown Away Charlie
1990 Mindwalk Thomas Harriman
1990 The End of Innocence Dean
1990 Home Alone Peter McCallister
1990 Awakenings Dr. Kaufman
1991 Rambling Rose Willcox Hillyer
1991 Deceived Jack Saunders
1992 Radio Flyer Daugherty
1992 Gladiator John Riley
1992 Waterland Lewis Scott
1992 Home Alone 2: Lost in New York Peter McCallister
1993 In the Line of Fire Professor Riger
1993 Me and Veronica Frankie
1993 The Pelican Brief Gavin Vereek
1996 Before and After Wendell Bye
1996 My Fellow Americans Ted Matthews
1997 Silent Cradle Dr. Brittain
1997 One Eight Seven Dave Childress
1997 Executive Power Walker
1997 Men George Babbington
1998 Snake Eyes Gilbert Powell
1998 Desert Blue Professor Lance Davidson
1999 Jazz Night John Little Short film
1999 Freak Weather David
2000 Animal Factory James Decker
2000 Fish Out of Water Gregor
2000 The Photographer Marcello
2000 Pollock Tony Smith
2001 Dying on the Edge John Fuller
2001 The Boys of Sunset Ridge John Burroughs
2001 O Dean Bob Brable
2001 The Secret Pact Jerome Carver
2002 Researching Raymond Burke Raymond Burke Short film
2002 Fair Play Owen Short film
2004 Under the City Scova
2004 Mind the Gap Henry Richards
2004 White Chicks Warren Vandergeld
2004 My Tiny Universe Bobby
2005 The Chumscrubber Officer Lou Bratley
2005 The Deal Professor Roseman
2005 Tracks Prison Warden
2005 Edison Captain Brian Tilman
2005 Sweet Land Minister Sorrensen
2006 Steel City Carl Lee
2006 Gamers: The Movie Gordon's Dad
2006 The Guardian Captain Frank Larson
2007 Dead Lenny Dr. Robert Hooker
2007 Brothers Three: An American Gothic Father
2007 The Great Debaters Sheriff Dozier
2008 P.J. Dr. Alan Shearson
2008 Justice League: The New Frontier Ace Morgan Voice
2008 The Lucky Ones Bob
2009 Red State Blues Fritz Short film
2009 Formosa Betrayed Tom Braxton
2009 Little Hercules in 3-D Coach Nimms
2010 The Truth Jonathan Davenport
2010 Ivan's House Ivan Short film
2011 Whisper Me a Lullaby Poppy
2012 Stealing Roses Walter
2012 The Legends of Nethiah Nethiah's Father
2012 A Perfect Ending Mason Westridge
2012 Would You Rather Conway
2013 The Insomniac Paul Epstein
2013 Assault on Wall Street Jeremy Stancroft
2013 Snake and Mongoose Wally Parks
2013 Runner, Runner Harry Furst
2013 Torn Detective Kalkowitz
2013 Buoyancy Frank Short film
2014 Searching for Fortune Denton Sr.
2014 Warren Jack Cavanee
2014 Animals Albert
2014 The Boys of Abu Ghraib Sam Farmer
2014 The Nurse Frank
2014 Boiling Pot Tim Davis
2014 One More Day Tom Short film
2015 After the Reality Bob Post production
2015 Living Among Us Andrew Post production
2015 Counting for Thunder Garrett Stalworth Post production
2015 Is That a Gun in Your Pocket Sheriff Parsons Post production
2016 Jimmy Vestvood: Amerikan Hero JP Monroe
2016 So B. It Thurman Hil Filming
Year Title Role Notes
1975 Valley Forge Mr. Harvie TV Movie
1979 The Scarlet Letter Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale
1983 Will There Really Be a Morning? Clifford Odets TV Movie
1983 Legs Dan TV Movie
1984 Kate & Allie Max McArdle Episode: "A Weekend to Remember"
1985 Tender is the Night Abe North
1985 Tales from the Darkside Billy Malone Episode: "Ring Around the Redhead"
1985 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Bill Callahan Episode: "Breakdown"
1986 Miami Vice Laurence Thurmond Episode: "One Way Ticket"
1987 The Equalizer Ron Parrish Episode: "In the Money"
1987 Out on a Limb David Manning TV Movie
1988 Necessity Charlie TV Movie
1989 Screen Two Michael Johnson Episode: "Virtuoso"
1989 Cross of Fire David Stephenson TV Movie
1992 Dead Ahead: The Exxon Valdez Disaster Dan Lawn TV Movie
1993 There Was a Little Boy Gregg TV Movie
1994 In Spite of Love Andrew TV Movie
1994 Because Mommy Works Ted Forman TV Movie
Law & Order Mitch Burke
Walter Grobman
Episode: "Doubles"
Episode: "DNR"
1995 American Masters Montresor Episode: Edgar Allan Poe: Terror of the Soul
1995 The Outer Limits Paul Stein Episode: "Dark Matters"
1995–1996 The Client Roy Foltrigg
The Sopranos Detective Vin Makazian 5 episodes
2000 Perfect Murder, Perfect Town Larry Mason
2000 The Wednesday Woman Bill Davidson TV Movie
2001 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Larry Wiegert Episode: "The Pardoner's Tale"
2001 The Big Heist Richard Woods TV Movie
2002 Touched by an Angel Allen Episode: "Secrets and Lies"
2002 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Gregory Rossovitch / Peter Sipes Episode: "Disappearing Acts"
2002 Hack Paul Ballinger Episode: "Songs in the Night"
2002 Monday Night Mayhem Roone Arledge TV Movie
2002 The Pilot's Wife Jack Lyons TV Movie
2003 Word of Honor Dr. Steven Brandt TV Movie
2003–2005 CSI: Miami Kenwall Duquesne 4 episodes
2004–2005 Jack & Bobby Dennis Morgenthal 5 episodes
2005 Numb3rs Peter Houseman Episode: "Soft Target"
2005 Locusts Dr. Peter Axelrod TV Movie
2005–2006 Prison Break Governor Frank Tancredi 10 episodes
2006 Battlestar Galactica Commander Barry Garner Episode: "The Captain's Hand"
2006 Twenty Questions C. Colin Whitworth TV Movie
2006 The Line-Up Walter Clark TV Movie
2007 Cavemen Tripp Episode: "Her Embarrassed of Caveman"
Entourage Richard Wimmer Episode: "Snow Job"
Episode: "Tequila Sunrise"
2008 My Own Worst Enemy Peter Episode: "Down Rio Way"
2008 Skip Tracer Con Colbert TV Movie
2008 Generation Gap Principal Winters TV Movie
2009 The Beast Dr. Blake Episode: "Mercy"
2009 Southland Ben Sherman Sr. Episode: "See the Woman"
Episode: "Westside"
2010 Gravity B.C. Episode: "Namaste MF"
Episode: "Damn Skippy"
Episode: "Are We All Just Dead?"
2010 The Quickening Ed Erlich TV Movie
2011 The Chicago Code Mayor McGuinness Episode: "St. Valentine's Day Massacre"
Episode: "Mike Royko's Revenge"
2011 Too Big to Fail Joe Gregory TV Movie
2013 Perception Congressman Evan Rickford Episode: "Warrior"
Episode: "Wounded"
2013 Adam DeVine's House Party Dregory Episode: "Dregory"
2013 Tim & Eric's Bedtime Stories The Lawyer
2013 Sharknado George TV Movie
2014 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Roger Ridley Episode: "Love for Sale"
2014 Modern Family Gunther Thorpe Episode: "The Feud"
2014 Person of Interest Roger McCourt Episode: "Death Benefit"
2014 Mistresses Bruce Sappire Episode: "Coming Clean"
2014 NCIS: Los Angeles Michael Thomas Episode: "Inelegant Heart"
Episode: "Praesidium"
Episode: "The 3rd Choir"
2015 The Lizzie Borden Chronicles William Almy
2015 The Murder Pact TV movie
2016 Elementary Dr. Watson's stepfather Episode: "Miss Taken"


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "John Heard Biography". Retrieved October 15, 2013.
  2. "411 Movies Interview: John Heard". February 27, 2008. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
  3. Roberts, Chris (April 9, 2005). "No Kidding". The Guardian. London. Retrieved December 26, 2010.
  4. "Heard Pleads Not Guilty to Harassing Ex-Girlfriend". Associated Press via Spartanburg Herald-Journal. March 20, 1997. p. 13.
  5. "'Home Alone' Actor Arrested". The Buffalo News. November 6, 1991.
  6. Tan, Cheryl L. (March 21, 1997). "Home Alone' actor Heard found guilty of trespassing". The Baltimore Sun.
  7. "Pritchard-Heard". The Monterey County Herald. June 14, 2010. Retrieved October 15, 2013.

External links

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