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/ Source: TODAY
By Embry Roberts

John Heard, the actor best known for his role as dad Peter McCallister in the "Home Alone" movies, has passed away at the age of 71.

John Heard, pictured here at an event in 2013.Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Heard was found in a Palo Alto, Calif., hotel, where he was recovering from minor back surgery Wednesday, Heard's manager told NBC News. The Santa Clara Medical Examiner's office also confirmed his death. While the cause of death is not yet known, the office does not suspect foul play.

Heard appeared in the films "Cat People," "After Hours," "Big," "Beaches" and "Gladiator," and on TV in "Miami Vice" and "The Sopranos," for which he won an Emmy nomination. However, his most recognizable role came in the 1990 holiday classic "Home Alone" and its sequel.

Not a holiday season will go by that we don't watch this movie and remember Heard.Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock / Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock

"We didn't forget him! We just miscounted!" Heard's McCallister famously reassured his wife in the original "Home Alone" film. And we certainly won't forget Heard — nor will the many celebrities and colleagues who paid their respects via social media on Saturday.

Daniel Stern, who played serial burglar Marv Merchants in the "Home Alone" movies, wrote a powerful essay commemorating his friendship with Heard. By Stern's description, Heard was something like a big brother to him, taking him under his wing on the New York City acting scene.

"Nothing was more intense than John's performance in life," Stern wrote. "He lived it hard, fast, and fearlessly. He was a romantic and a raconteur. He was as loyal and as generous as they come. He was a friend and a brother and a legend in his time."

Elizabeth Perkins, who appeared with Heard in "Big," called him "the perfect foil, perfectly sly & a perfect gentleman."

Bette Midler called him "one of the best actors of his generation."

And many other former co-stars shared compliments and memories of working with Heard.

Actor Jon Fletcher was all of us, saying, "You will always be the dad I wish I had so I could accidentally be left at home and also end up in New York."

Rest in peace, John Heard.