Fred Ward, a veteran actor who brought a gruff tenderness to tough-guy roles in such films as “The Right Stuff,” “The Player” and “Tremors,” has died. He was 79.

Ward died Sunday, his publicist Ron Hofmann said Friday. No cause or place of death was disclosed per the family’s wishes.

He also reached new heights playing Mercury 7 astronaut Virgil “Gus” Grissom in 1983′s Academy Award-nominated film “The Right Stuff.”

“Devastated to learn about the passing of my friend, Fred Ward,” tweeted actor Matthew Modine, who co-starred with Ward in “Short Cuts” and Alan Rudolph’s “Equinox.”

A former boxer, lumberjack in Alaska and short-order cook who served in the U.S. Air Force, Ward was a San Diego native who was part Cherokee.

actor Kate Mulgrew tweeted. “Decent and modest and utterly professional, he disarmed with a smile that was at once warm and mischievous.”

Ward demonstrated his comedy chops playing a terrorist intent on blowing up the Academy Awards in “Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult” in 1994.

Ward played President Ronald Reagan in the 2009 Cold War espionage thriller “Farewell” and had a supporting role in the 2013 action flick “2 Guns,” starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg.