Fred Ward, a skilled actor with a dominating screen presence, died on May 8. 79. His spokesman, Ron Hofmann, said Mr. Ward's family did not want to publicize the cause or location of his death. 

Mr. Ward's virility came naturally — or as naturally as some of his vocations would suggest. 

On his way to becoming an amateur boxer, he spent three years as a radar technician in the chilly and dismal Labrador region of Canada. 

In films like “Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins” (1985), he played a James Bond-like assassin skilled in martial arts working for a secret government agency, he played a tough, resilient character. 

In “Henry and June” (1990), he portrayed the 1930s Parisian love triangle between Miller, his wife June (Uma Thurman), and the diarist Anas Nin (Maria de Medeiros). 

Aside from its subject matter, the film gained prominence for being the first to acquire the Motion Picture Association of America's NC-17 rating, allowing it to avoid the X-rated penalties.

Mr. Ward conveyed Miller's rascally, bohemian glee in flouting convention, as well as his working-class Brooklyn upbringing and accent. 

Erased his hair and examined videotapes of the aged Miller to mimic his tics. The corner of his mouth, Mr. Ward said. “He squinted.” 

In The Times' review of “Henry and June,” writer Janet Maslin stated Mr. Ward was “always appealing” despite being “asked to offer more of an impression than a performance.”

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