One of Hollywood’s finest has passed away. This past Wednesday, actor John Hurt passed away just three days after his 77th birthday.
Hurt will be forever known as the unlucky crew member who had a monster pop out of his stomach in 1979’s Alien and would play the titular role in David Lynch’s The Elephant Man as well as a major actor in Hollywood.
John Hurt was born on January 22, 1940 in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England. Hurt’s father was a vicar who led a very strict household. Hurt had always wanted to pursue acting, but was ridiculed by both his parents and even some teachers. However, Hurt was truly determined to live his dream and he did just that.
Hurt would enroll in art school and would have been a professor had the acting gig didn’t work. However, in 1966, Hurt got the breakthrough when he played Richard Rich in the Sir Thomas More biopic A Man for All Seasons. In 1975, he earned a BAFTA Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Quentin Crisp in the television play The Naked Civil Servant. He would win a Golden Globe and a BAFTA nomination for his role in 1978’s Midnight Express.
In 1987, Hurt would go on to spoof his stomach exploding scene from Alien in the Mel brooks comedy Spaceballs. He would even play Mr. Ollivander, the famous wand-maker of the Harry Potter saga, appearing in the first film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and official returned in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. He would also have roles in V For Vendetta and Hercules.
Hurt is survived by his fourth wife, Anwen Rees-Myers, his two sons Sasha and Nick from third wife Joan Dalton; sister Monica and brother Br. Anselm.
World Film Geek sends its condolences to the family of John Hurt. As a final tribute, check out the spoof of John Hurt’s stomach eploding scene in Spaceballs from YouTube user Sam Jones:
Rest in Peace, John Hurt