Daniel Stern took to Twitter to share an emotional letter in tribute to his longtime friend and Home Alone costar John Heard, who died at the age of 71 on Friday, July 21.
In his lengthy post, Stern, 59, told fans that he knew Heard as far back as the early ’70s, long before they costarred as Wet Bandit Marv Merchants and patriarch Peter McCallister, respectively, in the 1990 Christmas film and its 1992 sequel, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.
“John Heard was the coolest cat in New York City for about 10 straight years, 1974-1984,” the City Slickers actor wrote. “Ask anybody who was there then. Every actor wanted to be as intense as him, every woman wanted to sleep with him. … He was defiant, he was poetic, he was ridiculously generous and he was charismatic as hell.”
Stern explained that he met Heard the day he moved to New York City to become an actor. “John was the very first person I knew to be in a movie,” he wrote. “It had never crossed my mind that that was a thing you could do. I was a theater rat in high school and New York only meant trying to be a professional actor in the theater.”
After Heard invited Stern to a showing of his 1977 movie Between the Lines, the Maryland native realized that he, too, could end up on the big screen. In the early stages of his career, Stern and his wife, Laure Mattos, were plagued by financial troubles. Heard helped out whenever he could, often treating the couple to dinner and milkshakes.
“We were amazed that he had that kind of cash to throw around,” the Diner actor wrote. “It was so sweet over the years to have our family and home become a place of ‘normalcy’ in John’s otherwise frenetic life. He so loved having his ‘kid brother’ do good and thrilled at our kids’ accomplishments.”
After the news of the Emmy nominee’s death broke over the weekend, just days after he reportedly underwent minor back surgery, many media reports referred to him as “Home Alone actor John Heard.” Stern, however, admitted in his letter, “What’s funny is I never remember that John is even in that movie. I’ve only ever really watched it once, and he and the family were all so great in it. But we never had any scenes in it together and we only crossed paths on the set once or twice.”
“Nothing was more intense than John’s performance in life,” Stern concluded. “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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