10 John Heard roles and where to watch them
Heard died on Friday at the age of 72
John Heard, who died on Friday at the age of 72, left the world with four decades worth of roles on both the big and small screens.
The actor worked with notable directors like Martin Scorsese, Paul Schrader, Penny Marshall, and Brian De Palma, while also appearing in White Chicks and TV shows like CSI: Miami and Prison Break: Resurrection. Perhaps best known for playing Peter McCallister in the Home Alone movies, Heard earned an Emmy nomination for his performance as Detective Vin Makazian on HBO’s The Sopranos.
In honor of the actor with such an eclectic body of work, here are some of those performances and where you can watch them.
Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost In New York
Heard headed the McCallister family as Peter in the first Home Alone movie, wherein he and his wife (played by Catherine O’Hara) left their little troublemaker, Kevin (Macaulay Culkin), behind when embarking on a family vacation. He returned for the sequel, during which Kevin accidentally got on the wrong plane and ended up in the Big Apple.
The actor appeared alongside Tom Hanks, who played the lead role in Big. Heard’s character, Paul Davenport, becomes jealous when his coworker Josh, a kid magically transformed into an adult, starts striking up a flirtation with his ex girlfriend (played by Elizabeth Perkins).
Filmmakers like Christopher McQuarrie (Mission: Impossible 6) and Ti West (In the Valley of Violence) remember Heard for his role of Alex Cutter, whose friend (Jeff Bridges’ Richard Bones) becomes a suspect when he inadvertently abandons his car at the site where a murdered woman was dumped. Bridges praised Heard for his “artistry” and “dedication” in the film.
Heard’s Emmy nomination came ahead of the 1999 Primetime Emmys, which recognized him for his guest role of corrupt cop Vin Makazian on HBO’s The Sopranos. The detective from Newark, New Jersey debuted in the season 1 episode “Meadowlands” and his death helped Tony Soprano face his own depression.
Where to Watch: HBO, HBO Go, HBO Now, Amazon Prime
The Pelican Brief
Wrapped up in chaos surrounding law student Darby Shaw (Julia Roberts) was Heard’s Gavin Verheek, an attorney working with the F.B.I. He’s given a copy of Darby’s brief about why two Supreme Court justices were assassinated, leading to his own murder in the crosshairs.
Horror fans will remember Heard as George Cooper, a photographer who learns of “cannibalistic humanoid underground dwellers” rising from the New York City sewers in Douglas Cheek’s C.H.U.D. If you like watching stunt actors dressed in monster suits plowing through makeshift walls, you’ll quickly take to this 1984 film.
Heard worked with Scarface and Mission: Impossible director De Palma on this 1998 crime-thriller, starring Nicolas Cage. A less-than model detective witnesses a murder in the middle a high-profile boxing match in Atlantic City as a conspiracy starts to unfold.
Idina Menzel and Nia Long remade Beaches, but Heard was a part of the 1988 original. He appeared as the boss of Bette Midler’s CC Bloom, though he gets caught up in a love triangle as a spark ignites between him and CC’s longtime friend, Hillary (Barbara Hershey). Antonio Cupo played Heard’s character in the 2017 remake for Lifetime.
Scorsese’s 1985 film about the worst night of a guy’s life features a rollicking scene with Heard, playing a bartender. Griffin Dunne’s Paul Hacket needs money for a cab, and Tom wants to give it to him. The problem the his faulty cash register, which leads to a brief but dramatic face-off between man and machine.
Cat People, another title from Heard’s earlier work, is about (you guessed it) werecats. The actor plays Oliver Yates, whose girlfriend is grappling with her feline urges to transform into a panther.