“If you listen, you learn; if you talk, you don’t.” – Sir John Hurt
Legendary character actor John Hurt, known for his roles in “Alien” and “The Elephant Man,” has died. He was 77.
Hurt’s wife, Anwen, released a statement saying he was “the most gentlemanly of gentlemen.”
It is with deep sadness that I have to confirm that my husband, John Vincent Hurt, died on Wednesday 25th January 2017 at home in Norfolk.
John was the most sublime of actors and the most gentlemanly of gentlemen with the greatest of hearts and the most generosity of spirit. He touched all our lives with joy and magic and it will be a strange world without him.
I ask that we are allowed to come to terms with our loss without further intrusion.
The Oscar nominee disclosed in 2015 that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Hurt, whose career spanned more than six decades, most recently starred in the Oscar-nominated “Jackie.” He also appeared in the film version of George Orwell’s “1984,” the “Harry Potter” series and “Hellboy.”
Among his better-known roles were the title character in 1980’s “The Elephant Man;” wandmaker Ollivander in the Harry Potter films who gave Harry his 1st wand, and as Chancellor Adam Sutler in “V for Vendetta.”
He also played Kane in “Alien.” In one of that 1979 film’s more gruesome scenes, his character dies horribly as an alien bursts out from inside his body.
Survived by his wife of 12 years, Anwen Rees-Myers, he recently starred as a priest in the Oscar nominated biopic of President John F. Kennedy’s widow, Jackie, currently showing in cinemas.
After rising to fame in A Man For All Seasons (1966), some of his most famous roles include the 1979 blockbuster Alien, the TV series I, Claudius in 1976 and starring as Winston Smith in the adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984 made the year of the book’s title.
More recently, he starred as an incarnation of Doctor Who in a 50th anniversary special of the series in 2013.
While battling pancreatic cancer in 2015, Sir John – the son of a clergyman – said he did not wish for an afterlife, saying: “I hope I shall have the courage to say, ‘Vroom! Here we go! Let’s become different molecules!”
He also 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.”
Hurt was made a British knight in 2015.
He also won a Golden Globe Award and four BAFTAs, including a lifetime achievement recognition for his contribution to British film.
Over the years John Hurt starred in a huge range of hit and classic films during a career of more than 50 years on the big screen that began in 1962.
Some of his most famous movies include:
1962 The Wild and the Willing
1966 A Man For All Seasons
1978 The Midnight Express
1978 The Lord of the Rings
1980 The Elephant Man
1984 Nineteen Eighty-Four
1991 King Ralph
1998 Night Train
2001 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin
2001 Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
2002 Crime And Punishment
2006 V For Vendetta
2008 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
2009 New York, I Love You
2009 44 Inch Chest
2010 Brighton Rock
2010 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1
2011 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
2011 Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
2017 That Good Night
2017 My Name Is Lenny