John Hurt, the acclaimed British actor who wooed audiences the world over in films and television series as varied as Alien, the Harry Potter films, and Doctor Who, has died at the age of 77. According to the Hollywood Reporter, news of Academy Award nominee’s death was first issued by several British newspapers late Friday night. The cause of Hurt’s death has yet to be determined, though as THR notes, the actor revealed in 2015 that he’d been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. British tabloid The Mirror also remarked that Hurt had been suffering from unknown intestinal issues in recent months.
In the 1966 film A Man for All Seasons, Hurt garnered his first major movie role as Richard Rich. This ultimately led to additional parts in television and movies — including his Golden Globe and BAFTA-winning role in 1978’s Midnight Express, for which he also scored his first Academy Award nomination. Hurt soon followed this with a small but significant role in Ridley Scott’s Alien, as his character’s shocking onscreen death provided the now-classic science fiction horror with one of cinema’s most iconic scenes.
Hurt also nabbed high praise for his title role in David Lynch’s 1980 movie The Elephant Man, for which he booked his second Oscar nomination. More recently, he played the wand seller Garrick Ollivander in three of the eight Harry Potter films and joined the world-famous BBC series Doctor Who for its 50th anniversary special in 2013. In the latter, he played a heretofore unknown incarnation of the time-traveling alien known as the “War Doctor.”
Along with his many acting accolades, Hurt was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2015 for his services to drama. He is survived by his wife, Anwen Rees-Myers, and his two sons.
(Via the Hollywood Reporter)