Acting legend John Hurt, who appeared in “Midnight Express,” “The Elephant Man” and “Nineteen Eighty-Four” among many other films, has died at the age of 77 from pancreatic cancer, his publicist said.
With a career that stretches back more than 60 years, John Hurt has long been a familiar face to moviegoers. In recent years, audiences recognized him as wandmaker Garrick Olivander in the Harry Potter films, as the British dictator in “V for Vendetta” and as the disturbed Harold “Ox” Oxley in “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.”
But Hurt is perhaps best known for his role that came some years ago. His roles in “Midnight Express” and as the title character in David Lynch’s “The Elephant Man” in 1980 earned him his two Oscar nominations. He was portrayed the main character in the movie 1984, which was released in 1984.
In total Hurt was nominated for two Oscars and won four BAFTA Awards and a Golden Globe Award. In 2015, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.
But he wasn’t only famous for his live action roles.
Hurt had a unique voice that provided him a rich voice acting career. From the animated films “Watership Down” and “The Lord of the Rings,” both made in 1978, to the popular BBC series “Merlin,” Hurt’s voice built entire worlds for audiences.
John Hurt also held the dubious honor for the most onscreen deaths of any actor.
Movie fans might best remember such a role’s outcome in the 1979 film “Alien.” The first character to be killed by the creature, Hurt was impregnated with an alien embryo that later burst out of his chest during a notable dinner scene.
He amusingly reprised the role in the 1987 Mel Brooks spoof “Spaceballs” with the self-parodying line, “Oh no, not again.”
Fans of the popular BBC show “Dr. Who” will remember Hurt’s important role as the War Doctor.
John Hurt most recently appeared in the 2016 film “Jackie” alongside Natalie Portman about John F. Kennedy’s wife Jackie Onassis. He will next be in the 2017 film “Darkest Hour” as British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, which is slated to come out in November.
His is survived by his wife of 12 years Anwen Rees-Meyers.
The Elephant Man John Hurt Dead at 77.