Saturday, January 28, 2017

John Hurt

From the BBC:
"Sir John Hurt: Bafta-winning actor dies aged 77"

Sir John Hurt's wife, Anwen, has led tributes to the veteran actor after he died at the age of 77. The Bafta-winning star, known for his roles in Alien and The Elephant Man, had been treated for pancreatic cancer in 2015. Sir John's wife said he had brought "joy and magic" and it would be a "strange world without him". He recently starred as Father Richard McSorley in Jackie, the biopic of President John F Kennedy's wife. Despite being given the all-clear from cancer, he last year pulled out of Sir Kenneth Branagh's production of The Entertainer on the advice of his doctors. Lady Hurt confirmed Sir John had died on Wednesday at his home in Norfolk.  "John was the most sublime of actors and the most gentlemanly of gentlemen with the greatest of hearts and the most generosity of spirit," she said in a statement. US director Mel Brooks described Sir John as "cinematic immortality", as tributes poured in for the star. Brooks paid tribute to Sir John, who had starred in his comedy Spaceballs, saying on Twitter: "No one could have played The Elephant Man more memorably." He added: "He carried that film into cinematic immortality. He will be sorely missed." Sir John also played the part of wand-maker Mr Ollivander in the Harry Potter films. Author of the books, JK Rowling, tweeted: "So very sad to hear that the immensely talented and deeply beloved John Hurt has died. My thoughts are with his family and friends."  "He touched all our lives with joy and magic and it will be a strange world without him."  John Hurt was one of Britain's best-known and most versatile actors. He was born on 22 January, 1940 in Chesterfield in Derbyshire. Over six decades, he appeared in more than 120 films as well as numerous stage and television roles.  He went to St Martin's School of Art in London, but dropped out. He then gained a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1960 but said he had been so hungry, he could hardly deliver his lines.  It was not until 1978 that Hurt was recognised as one of cinema's best character actors, gaining an Oscar nomination for his performance as a heroin addict in Alan Parker's Midnight Express. In 1979, he then starred as Kane in Ridley Scott's sci-fi horror Alien. in The death of his character has often been voted as one of cinema's most memorable moments. Sir John was also known for his off-screen antics, with his drinking splashed across newspapers. He once even lunged at a pack of paparazzi at a Bafta awards ceremony.  But he said that age had mellowed him and he admitted to being happier sitting with his painting easels than being out on the town. Sir John was married four times. His first marriage to actress Annette Robertson lasted two years in the 1960s. In 1968 he started a relationship with the "love of his life" Marie Lise Volpeliere-Porrot - it ended 15 years later when she was killed in a riding accident. The following year he married US actress Donna Peacock but the couple divorced four years later, although they remained good friends. He married his third wife Jo Dalton in 1990 and they had two sons. They divorced in 1995. In 2005, he wed Anwen Rees-Myers, a former actress and classical pianist, who was with him until his death.   Sir John was knighted in 2015 for his services to drama. After his cancer diagnosis the same year, he told the Radio Times: "I can't say I worry about mortality, but it's impossible to get to my age and not have a little contemplation of it. "We're all just passing time, and occupy our chair very briefly." He was still working up until his death, starring in Jackie Kennedy biopic Jackie, thriller Damascus Cover and the upcoming biopic of boxer Lenny McLean, My Name Is Lenny. He was also filming Darkest Hour, in which he starred as Neville Chamberlain opposite Gary Oldman's Winston Churchill, scheduled to be released in December.

^ I have seen several of the shows and movies that he was in, but my favorite (from when I was a kid) was "The Storyteller." ^

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