John Hurt, Oscar-Nominated Star of ‘The Elephant Man,’ Dies during 77

John Hurt, a wiry English actor who played a drug addict in “Midnight Express,” Kane in “Alien,” a pretension impression in “The Elephant Man,” and Winston Smith in “1984” has died, his publicist reliable to Variety. He was 77.


Hurt had disclosed in 2015 that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Mel Brooks, executive author of “The Elephant Man,” tweeted that he was a “truly pretentious talent.”

He played Mr. Ollivander, a wand-maker in a initial Harry Potter film, “Harry Potter and a Sorceror’s Stone,” and for tools 1 and 2 of “Harry Potter and a Deathly Hallows,” however his scenes in “Harry Potter and a Goblet of Fire” were cut.

Hurt was twice nominated for Oscars, a initial time in 1979 for his ancillary purpose in “Midnight Express,” a second time in 1981 for “The Elephant Man.” In 2012 he perceived a BAFTA Award for superb British grant to cinema.

The actor had a pale, condemned demeanour of a male who is eternally nap deprived, yet he used his hilly facilities to his advantage. Reviewing a 2011 underline instrumentation of John le Carre’s “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” in that Hurt played Control, a conduct of MI6, a New York Times suggested indebtedness for a actor’s visage: Control “explains his speculation about a mole, a folds in Mr. Hurt’s pretentious face sagging a bit lower. That face, a crevassed landscape that suggests grief and history, has a granitic loftiness of W.H. Auden in his after life. In tandem with Mr. Hurt’s sonorously saddening voice (and a useful undertones of hysteria), it is a face that, when used by a filmmaker like Mr. Alfredson, speaks volumes about a impression who would differently take reams of created discourse to discover.”

But, of course, there was some-more to Hurt than his noted appearance; Michael Caton-Jones, who destined a actor in several films, described him to a U.K.’s a Guardian in 2006 in this way: “One of a biggest shade actors ever, and one of a bravest — since he’s all about honest emotion. People consider actors have to fake or lie. The best actors, like John, know they have to hunt for a truth.”

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John Hurt’s Life and Career in Photos

In further to “Alien,” Hurt seemed in a array of other high-profile anticipation or scholarship novella films, including “Indiana Jones and a Kingdom of a Crystal Skull” (in that he played Jones’ aged and, for many of a movie, confused co-worker Dr. Oxley), “V for Vendetta,” “Hellboy,” and Brett Ratner’s 2014 Dwayne Johnson-starrer “Hercules.” He also did a three-episode arc on a BBC’s “Doctor Who” in 2013.

He many recently played a clergyman conflicting Natalie Portman in Pablo Larraín’s 2016 biographical play “Jackie.”

Hurt was solemnly building his career in a film and TV career in a 1960s and ’70s. He was initial famous for a ancillary purpose as a immature schemer in a classical film “A Man for All Seasons” in 1966, and he played a male foul indicted of murder in 1971’s “10 Rillington Place,” sketch his initial BAFTA nomination. In 1975 he significantly upped his form by starring in a instrumentation of “The Naked Civil Servant,” Quentin Crisp’s discourse about vital plainly as a happy male in England in a 1930s and ’40s, winning a actor his initial BAFTA TV Award. (Decades later, Hurt would reprise a purpose of Crisp in 2009’s “An Englishman in New York,” about a writer’s after years vital in Manhattan, and drew another BAFTA TV nomination.)

Also fueling Hurt’s arise was a frighteningly effective spin as a blood- and sex-crazed Roman czar Caligula in “I, Claudius,” that aired on PBS in 1977. The sunken-cheeked actor memorably played a drug addict who befriends a executive impression in a Turkish jail in “Midnight Express,” sketch an Oscar assignment and a BAFTA win, and he supposing a relocating lead voice of Hazel for a charcterised underline chronicle of “Watership Down,” both in 1978.

The actor indeed had a sincerely tiny purpose in Ridley Scott’s “Alien,” yet a film’s well-developed success during a box bureau joined with a fantastic approach in that his impression dies in a film — with a visitor shockingly ripping from his chest — guaranteed Hurt a turn of prominence he had never achieved before. Hurt, who drew nonetheless another BAFTA assignment for a role, was 39 during a time yet looked older.

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The really subsequent year he starred as a pretension character, John Merrick, in David Lynch’s film “The Elephant Man,” and yet his facilities were dark behind possibly a board bag or a mounds of makeup used to communicate Merrick’s disfigurement, Hurt brought a nobleness and grace — and definite clarity of tragedy — to a character. The New York Times said, “It’s to a credit of Christopher Tucker’s makeup and to Mr. Hurt’s unusual opening low inside it, that John Merrick doesn’t demeanour absurd, like something out of a low-budget science-fiction film.” He was nominated for an Oscar and won another BAFTA.

Also in 1980 he had a estimable purpose in Michael Cimino’s argumentative film “Heaven’s Gate,”co-starring with Kris Kristofferson and Christopher Walken. He also starred as Raskolnikov in a BBC miniseries prolongation of Dostoyevsky’s “Crime and “Punishment” that aired on PBS’ “Masterpiece Theatre” that year.

As his career was on a arise in a early 1980s, Hurt took a estimable romantic strike when his partner of 16 years, French indication Marie-Lise Volpeliere-Pierrot, was killed in a roving collision in 1983.

The actor incited in an impressive, sensitive opening as Winston Smith in Michael Radford’s 1984 instrumentation of George Orwell’s classical dystopian novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four.” The same year he starred as a mostly wordless torpedo in Stephen Frears’ philosophical highway movie-cum-crime play “The Hit.”

In 1989’s “Scandal,” Hurt starred as a real-life Stephen Ward, who neat immature women for passionate relations with Britain’s absolute as a means of gaining entrance to them, resulting, fundamentally in a scandal. Roger Ebert said: “The film stars John Hurt in one of a best performances of his career. In an early scene, Hurt’s eyes light adult as he sees a flattering lady walking down a street, and somehow Hurt is means to make us know that he feels, not lust, yet simply a low and genuine appreciation for how smashing a flattering lady can demeanour on a excellent open day.”

In Jim Sheridan’s “The Field” (1990), in that Richard Harris brilliantly played an Irish reside rancher raid by tragedy, Hurt gave an equally considerable opening as his dimwitted friend, winning another BAFTA nomination.

The actor played a Scottish nobleman executive to a tract in a 1995 chronological journey “Rob Roy.”

Hurt gave one of his many intriguing, desirable performances in a 1998 film “Love and Death in Long Island,” in that he played a author who becomes positively besotted with a immature actor, played by Jason Priestley, whom he incidentally sees in a stupid movie.

Hurt was partial of a considerable garb expel of Lars von Trier’s 2011 film “Melancholia,” and a same year he played Control, a personality of MI6, in a underline instrumentation of John le Carre’s “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.”

John Vincent Hurt was innate in Shirebrook, Derbyshire. He trained to turn a painter during Grimsby Art School (and continued portrayal via his life), afterwards complicated at RADA — a Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

The actor racked adult a poignant array of theatre credits, including as Romeo in a 1973 prolongation of “Romeo and Juliet,” and toured in Beckett’s solo uncover “Krapp’s” yet truly found his place onscreen.

With his unusual whiskey-tinged voice — a U.K.’s a Guardian wrote in 2009, “His face is one of a many particular in a movies. Almost as particular as his voice, drizzling with sugar and acid, mostly during a same time” — Hurt was unsurprisingly in direct for voiceover and exegesis work. He was a voice of a dragon in a BBC-Syfy array “Merlin” and narrated films including a Western “Wild Bill,” “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer” and von Trier’s “Dogville” and “Manderlay,” as good as a accumulation of documentaries.

In 2009 Hurt won a prestigious BFI Fellowship from a British Film Institute.

He was married 4 times, a initial time to singer Annette Robertson in a early 1960s, a second time to Donna Peacock, a third time to Jo Dalton.

Survivors embody a actor’s fourth wife, author Anwen Rees-Myers, whom Hurt married in 2005, and dual children by Dalton.

John Hurt’s Life and Career in Photos


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