John Hurt, the British-born film legend known for his roles in The Elephant Man, Midnight Express, and Alien, has died. He was 77 year old.
A popular character and voice actor whose career spanned six decades, Hurt first rose to prominence in 1966 playing Richard Rich in the Oscar-winning film A Man For All Seasons. He earned his first BAFTA nomination with a role in 1971’s 10 Rillington Place, and in 1975, his performance in the TV play The Naked Civil Servant won him Best Actor at the British Academy Television Awards. A year later, Hurt was cast to play Roman emperor Caligula in the BBC drama serial, I, Claudius, which proved to be one of his most memorable roles.
In 1978, Hurt starred in Midnight Express, for which he won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. The following year, he appeared in Ridley Scott’s Alien, playing the ill-fated Executive Officer Kane. Hurt received another Academy Award nomination in 1980 for his role in David Lynch’s The Elephant Man.
Other notable film roles included Nineteen Eighty-Four, Rob Roy, V For Vendetta, and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. He appeared in three Harry Potter films playing the wand maker Mr Ollivander. He also voiced parts in the 1978 animated adaption of The Lord of the Rings, Disney’s The Black Cauldron, Hellboy, and the BBC television series Merlin. Most recently, Hurt played The War Doctor in Doctor Who.
For his efforts, Hurt won four BAFTA Awards and a Golden Globe. He was also nominated for two Academy Awards, and in 2015, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth for his contributions to film and drama.
In June 2015, Hurt was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, but was in remission as of October of that year. It’s unclear whether his recent health issues are connected to his death.