Veteran actor John Heard, who is best known for starring in blockbuster movies like “Home Alone” and “Big,” passed away at the age of 71 over the weekend.

According to earlier reports, Heard’s body was found by a maid inside his Palo Alto, California, hotel room on Friday.

Though it’s currently unclear what caused the star’s death, new reports claim that the actor was going through hard times before he passed away.

According to the Daily Mail, the actor’s estranged son, 22-year-old Max Heard, died in his sleep less than a year ago. And he wasn’t on good terms with his father at the time.


The 22-year-old’s mother, Sharon Heard, wrote in his obituary that John was absent from his son’s life. She wrote:

“Max was in deep grief of not having a father participating in his life. We did everything to help him, but the agony was with him.”

The obituary said that the young man died “peacefully in his sleep” in December of 2016.

In addition to the loss of his son, Heard was also reportedly facing health problems.

According to The Hollywood Gossip, the actor was staying in a Palo Alto hotel while he recovered from minor back surgery. And now, his third ex-wife, Lana Pritchard, claims that it may have been his downfall.

Amy Graves/Getty Images

Lana told THG that she was initially “heartbroken” when she learned of John’s death from Sharon. She said:

“I cannot believe John is dead. His second wife Sharon phoned me with the news and then I saw it all over social media.”

But now she suspects that the pain medication Heard may have taken following his surgery is to blame for his sudden death. She told THG:

“I firmly believe that he died from an accidental overdose from the pain medication after the surgery.”

Lana said that Heard suffered from sciatica, pain caused by a variety lower back problems, and was constantly on pain medication. She said:

“John told his doctor that the medication changed his moods so he was placed on a low dosage, but I know he was in a lot of pain.”

Even though he was suffering, Lana said that Heard had “come to terms” with his son’s death, which she says was a result of an overdose.

The 71-year-old’s cause of death is still under investigation by the coroner, though they currently don’t suspect foul play.

For now, friends and family continue to mourn the beloved actor.

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