John Heard was found dead on Friday in his hotel room in Palo Alto, California, according to celebrity news website TMZ.
The Santa Clara medical examiner’s office confirmed the death. The cause is unknown.
Heard had reportedly been staying at the hotel after “minor back surgery” this week.
Arguably his most memorable role was as Peter McCallister, the father in the Home Alone films, in the 1990s.
But he first started acting in the 1970s, appearing on the stage, on television and in film.
He went on to play leading roles in films including Cutter’s Way, C.H.U.D and Gladiator, opposite Cuba Gooding, Jr.
He was nominated for an Emmy Award for guest starring in the television series The Sopranos.