R.I.P. John Hurt

John Hurt in 2015
John Hurt in 2015

The actor John Hurt (photo ©Walterlan Papetti) passed away.

John Hurt was born on January 22, 1940 in Chesterfield, England. His passion for acting started when he was still a child but due to his family’s pressures he went to study art at Grimsby Art School. At 20 he decided to become an actor and joined the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art thanks to a scholarship.

In the ’60s, John Hurt started having roles in some TV shows and films, beginning with “The Wild and the Willing” in 1962. His first major role came in the 1966 movie “A Man for All Seasons”, which won several awards and earned him his first nomination to the BAFTA award. He won that award for his role in the 1975 TV movie “The Naked Civil Servant”.

The following years brought great success to John Hurt with roles such as Caligula in the 1976 mini-series “I, Claudius” and others that became famous in movies such as “Midnight Express” (1978), for which he won the Golden Globe and the BAFTA, “Alien” in 1979, “The Elephant Man” by David Lynch in 1980 and “Nineteen Eighty-Four” in 1984.

John Hurt’s filmography is really long and over the years he also participated in a number of television productions. In 2001 he started playing the role of Ollivander in the Harry Potter saga in the movie “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”. In the next movie his scenes were cut but he reappeared in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1” (2010) and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2” (2011).

Meanwhile, John Hurt had roles in many other movies such as “The Skeleton Key” (2005), “V for Vendetta” (2005), “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” by Steven Spielberg and “Snowpiercer” (2013).

Among John Hurt’s prominent television appearances there’s certainly the one as the War Doctor in “Doctor Who” among the protagonists of the special episode for the show’s 50th anniversary “The Day of The Doctor“. The actor reprised that role in some audio adventures.

In June 2015 John Hurt announced he was ill with pancreatic cancer. In October 2016 he announced that the cancer was in remission. There are no official news regarding the possible link between that disease and his death.

In the coming months some other movies with John Hurt in their cast are scheduled for release. Those will be the last chance to see him in new roles and then we’ll have to rewatch the many productions in which he participated during the course of a long and extraordinary career.

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