After nearly five and half decades in the acting business, English actor John Hurt has died at the age of 77.
Hurt passed away on January 25, 2017, in his Norfolk home after battling pancreatic cancer. He leaves behind his wife, Anwen Rees-Myers, and two children upon his passing. His sudden death has prompted an outpour of heartfelt good-byes and tributes from the biggest names in the entertainment industry.
British Actor John Hurt Dies at 77
Early career and mainstream success
John Hurt was born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England. He began his career by landing a small part in the 1962 film The Wild and the Willing. His first major movie role was as Richard Rich in A Man for All Seasons. His scenes as the ill-fated character in the Ridley Scott horror film Alien were also cited as the one of the most famous ones in movie history.
Hurt began to get recognition from critics after earning his first British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards nomination for Best Supporting Actor for the 1971 drama film 10 Rillington Place. He later won over a new generation of fans after starring in the Harry Potter franchise as wand maker Garrick Ollivander.
Just four years after charming his way to the hearts of Potter fans everywhere, John Hurt was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). He was also knighted in the 2015 New Years Honours for his services in the field of drama and the arts.
Hurt finally got his BAFTA Award after being honored with an Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema during the award show’s 65th ceremony. His success continued the following year as he appeared in the wildly popular series Doctor Who as the War Doctor.
Cancer diagnosis and eventual death
John Hurt publicly announced that he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on June 16, 2015. He underwent treatment and went on to say that his cancer was in remission roughly four months later. By this time, Hurt had been working on his upcoming projects. One of his final roles was in the film Jackie alongside Natalie Portman.
Following his death, his spouse released this statement:
“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.”
Famous celebrities also took to social media to pay their tributes. Among them were Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling who called the English actor “immensely talented and deeply beloved” on Twitter. Jamie Lee Curtis also used the platform to commend John Hurt for his memorable role in Midnight Express.