Actor William Hurt dies at 71

Oscar-winning actor William Hurt – whose classic good looks and erudite personality made him one of the most recognizable male leads of the 1980s – died on Sunday, his family announced.

Hurt, who starred in hit movies from “The Big Chill” to “Broadcast News” and “Children of a Lesser God,” was 71.

The actor suffered from prostate cancer that spread to the bones in 2018.

“It is with great sadness that the Hurt family mourns the passing of William Hurt, beloved father and Oscar-winning actor, on March 13, 2022, a week before his 72nd birthday,” said the actor’s son, William , in a press release.

“He passed away peacefully, among his family, of natural causes. The family requests privacy at this time.”

William Hurt in “Broadcast News”.
Getty Images
Injured in
Injured in “The Incredible Hulk” in 2008.

In the 1980s, the handsome, lanky blonde was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar three years in a row. He won the coveted trophy in 1985 for his role as a gay convict sharing the same cell as a political prisoner in South America in “Kiss of the Spider Woman.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the only other actors to earn three consecutive Best Actor nominations are Paul Muni, Spencer Tracy, Gregory Peck, Marlon Brando, Richard Burton, Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson and Russell Crowe.

Hurt revived his career and was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as Richie Cusack in David Cronenberg’s 2005 film ‘A History of Violence’, although he only appeared a few times. minutes on the screen.

Hurt won the Best Actor Oscar in 1985.
Hurt won the Best Actor Oscar in 1985.
Ralph Dominguez/MediaPunch
Injured at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival.
Injured at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival.
Injured in
Hurt in “Body Heat”, 1981.
Getty Images

In 2009, Hurt was nominated for an Emmy Award for playing scientist Daniel Purcell in the second season of FX’s “Damages,” and received another nomination two years later for portraying former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson in Curtis Hanson’s HBO TV movie “Too Big to Fail.” .”

He was also famous for his roles in films such as “Body Heat” and “Gorky Park”.

Most recently, Hurt appeared as Marvel Comics character General Thaddeus Ross in “The Incredible Hulk,” “Captain America: Civil War,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Avengers: Endgame,” and “Black Widow.” “.

Born in Washington, DC, Hurt attended Tufts University and eventually the Juilliard School. His first major role was in Ken Russell’s “Altered States.”

Hurt lamented to People magazine in 1985 that he was “a character actor in a leading man’s body”.

He also resented the spotlight that took him away from the camera, telling The New York Times in 1989 that he felt his privacy was not respected.

“It’s not fair that my privacy is invaded to the extent that it is,” Hurt said at the time. “I’m a very private man, and I have a right to be. I never said that because I was an actor. You can have my privacy, you can steal my soul.

The late film critic Roger Ebert wrote about Hurt in 1988 after the release of “The Accidental Tourist”, calling the then actor “one of the top two or three actors in American cinema”.

“In almost all of his roles, he brings a sense of the ordinary, a sense that he’s just a person who is in this place right now,” Ebert said. “That almost bland exterior in the opening scenes is what triggers the later emotional outbursts, especially in movies like Altered States and Body Heat.

William Hurt in his Oscar-winning role in
William Hurt in his Oscar-winning role in ‘Kiss of the Spider Woman’.
Strand release

“When Hurt passes the peak, he seems to have started from a quieter place, and so he seems to have traveled a greater distance than a Mickey Rourke or a Robert De Niro. Only Jack Nicholson is his seemingly quite equal ordinary.”

Other actors took to social media on Sunday to remember Hurt’s career, including “Broadcast News” co-star Albert Brooks.

“RIP William Hurt. So sad to hear this news”, Brooks wrote on Twitter Sunday. “Working with him on Broadcast News was amazing. He will be greatly missed.”

“Wow, another major loss to the acting community. Great actor. Great spirit. RIP”, Mark Ruffalo noted.

“Saddened to learn of the passing of actor William Hurt,” tweeted Star Trek star George Takei. “He broke the mold in his Oscar-winning role in Kiss of the Spider Woman, broke smiles in Broadcast News and broke our hearts in The Accidental Tourist. A great loss to the world. Rest among the stars now, good sir.

Director M. Night Shaymalan, who worked with Hurt on his film “The Village,” noted Hurt was “a master of his craft as an actor. Every take was new and revealing”


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