John Hurt, Distinguished British Actor, Passes Away at 77

John Hurt, Distinguished British Actor, Passes Away at 77

Jan 28, 2017

John Hurt / A Man for All Seasons

Sir John Hurt, a British actor who enjoyed a long career filled with distinguished performances, has passed away, according to multiple news reports. He was 77.

Born in a coal mining village in England, Hurt was accepted into the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and made both his stage and movie debuts in 1962. He first gained international attention in A Man for All Seasons (above right and below) in 1966.

On television, he made big marks as the notorious Quentin Crisp in The Naked Civil Servant and in the miniseries I, Claudius as the nasty, duplicitous Caligula.

He earned an Academy Award nomination for his dramatic supporting role in Midnight Express and followed that up with his brief, yet incredibly memorable (and NSFW) appearance in Ridley Scott's Alien.

It was his lead performance in The Elephant Man, however, that showed the full range of his talent, bringing great empathy and understanding to his character, even beneath layers of makeup.

Directed By David Lynch, the movie was made by Mel Brooks' production company and Brooks has shared his feelings on the actor.

Hurt earned another Academy Award nomination for his performance. He also continued to work with Brooks, showing his comic skills in History of the World: Part 1 and Spaceballs. In 1984, he portrayed George Orwell's iconic character Winston Smith.

Though he rarely nabbed lead roles, he remained much in demand as a supporting actor. His voice made him a natural for animated movies as well.

Hurt became known to a newer generation in three installments of the Harry Potter series, Hellboy, V for Vendetta, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Snowpiercer. He had a fine reputation among his fellow actors, as noted in this fond remembrance.

Sir John Hurt is survived by his wife, Anwen Rees-Myers, and two children.

Categories: News, Obituaries
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