Saturday, 28 January 2017

Actor John Hurt Dies

John Hurt

Sir John Hurt, the two-time Oscar nominated star of the Elephant Man, has died at the age of 77, his agent confirmed.

The English actor was born in Derbyshire and became a critical and commercial success in films like Midnight Express, Alien and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, reports Daily Mail.

Hurt bounced back from pancreatic cancer in October 2015 and signed on to appear in a West End production of The Entertainer, only to pull out on the advice of his doctors after he was taken to the hospital with an intestinal complaint.

Despite revealing that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the summer of 2015, Hurt was matter-of-fact about his mortality.

Speaking to the Radio Times, he said: “I can’t say I worry about mortality, but it’s impossible to get to my age and not have a little contemplation of it.

“We’re all just passing time, and occupy our chair very briefly,” he said.

In the fall of 2015, Hurt announced he was in remission and vowed to continue working.

Despite the all-clear, Sir John continued to endure periods of ill health. He suffered intestinal complaints and was forced to withdraw from a West End production of The Entertainer last July.

Hurt, whose death was confirmed by his agent Charles McDonald on Saturday, is survived by wife Anwen Rees-Myers, and sons, Sasha and Nick.

The son of a vicar, Hurt spent what he described as a lonely childhood at an Anglo-Catholic prep school before he enrolled at a boarding school in Lincoln.

His acting aspirations were almost shattered forever by his headmaster’s insistence that he did not stand a chance in the profession.

He left school to go to art college but dropped out, impoverished and living in a dismal basement flat.

He finally plucked up enough courage to apply for a scholarship and auditioned successfully for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, although he later recalled being so hungry he could hardly deliver his lines.

Hurt played a huge variety of characters over the course of 60 years, from a mad Roman emperor to a pimp on the road to stardom; a circus freak, to a heroin-addicted prisoner.

He was best-known for his portrayals of the famously misunderstood and took an instinctive approach to his craft, believing that method acting was for people with no imagination.

Hurt first rose to fame in A Man For All Seasons in 1966 and later clinched a BAFTA for best supporting actor, along with an Oscar nomination, for his playing a drug addict in Midnight Express.

Hurt picked up yet another BAFTA just two years later in 1980 - this time as a leading actor in David Lynch’s Elephant Man.

He also won his second Oscar nomination for the role, which many heralded as Hurt’s best ever performance.

Hurt also enjoyed immense commercial success, playing Kane in the 1979 blockbuster Alien.

The iconic scene in which an extraterrestrial emerges from his chest won the actor a place in film history. He later reprised the role in Mel Brooks’ parody Spaceballs. The star went on to find a new generation of fans by taking on the role of Garrick Ollivander in the Harry Potter franchise.

Hurt was also known for his work as a voice actor and took his talents to the small screen, where he played a prominent role in Doctor Who, The Naked Civil Servant, and I, Claudius.

In his earlier years, Hurt was notorious for his wild lifestyle and hell-raising antics off-screen. But he mellowed with age and Hurt, who once described his career as not bad ‘for an old drunk’, received a string of honors towards the end of his six decade-long career.

He received a lifetime achievement award at the BAFTA awards in 2012, and was knighted by the Queen at Windsor Castle in 2015.



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