'Home Alone' Star John Heard's Cause of Death Revealed

John Heard arrives at the Screen Actors Guild & SAGIndie Breakthrough Filmmakers Party during AFI FEST 2010 presented by Audi at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood on November 9, 2010. Credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

John Heard died after suffering a heart attack brought on by heart disease, Us Weekly confirms.

The Santa Clara County coroner's office tells Us that the Home Alone actor suffered a "sudden cardiac death due to atherosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease."

Heard was found dead at the age of 71 in a hotel room in Palo Alto, California, on July 21. He had undergone minor back surgery at Stanford Medical Center just two days before his death and was recovering at the hotel. However, officials told TMZ on Tuesday that the operation "did not play a role in his death."

The Washington, D.C., native was best known for his beloved role as patriarch Peter McCallister in Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. He was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series in 1999 for his five-episode role as Detective Vin Makazian on The Sopranos.

Big, Heart Beat, Beaches, The Pelican Brief and Awakenings were among the many other projects that Heard starred in during his four-decade career.

Heard's Home Alone costar and longtime friend Daniel Stern paid tribute to the late actor in an emotional letter shared on Twitter in July. "Nothing was more intense than John's performance in life," Stern, 59, wrote. "He lived it hard, fast and fearlessly. He was a romantic and a raconteur. He was as loyal and generous as they come. He was a friend and a brother and a legend in his time. RIP John."

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