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RIP John Hurt

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I think the tragic losses we have experienced in the world of cinema in only the last year has seen us try to harden ourselves to any other celebrity death life cares to throw at us. But no matter how much we try, I don’t think any one was ready for the news that greeted us this morning: legendary actor John Hurt has passed away at the age of 77. With a career that has spanned over six decades, that includes two Oscar nominations for Midnight Express and The Elephant Man, you will be hard pressed to say you don’t know who John Hurt is. He has bled into nearly every corner of pop culture, most famously as Nostromo crew member Ash, whose encounter with a face hugger leads to a memorable breakfast in Alien. But people also know him as kindly wand maker Olivander in the Harry Potter franchise, Doctor Who’s The War Doctor (a character he played in the t.v. show’s 50th anniversary special), Hellboy’s father figure Professor Trevor Buttenholm, Control in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, and V for Vendetta’s dictator Adam Suttler, a role that was the polar opposite of his famous turn in 1984. In this country, a generation who grew up watching Jim Sheridan’s The Field will fondly remember him as Bird O’Donnell, and I think there is a small contingent of people who will forgive Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, thanks to his turn as Harold Oxley. That is how beloved he is.


Those two Oscar nominations weren’t the only times his talent were rightfully recognised. He picked a Golden Globe and a BAFTA for his supporting role Midnight Express, and a BAFTA for playing the tragic John Merrick in The Elephant. He also received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2012 BAFTA’s and was knighted for his services to drama in 2015. Even though he publicly revealed he was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer in 2015, that didn’t seem to stop his career. He can currently be seen on the big screen in Jackie, and he has four movies that will be released posthumously, which means he can hold onto his light that little bit longer. He is an actor we all grew up watching in one form or another, and I’d venture to say we all have several fond memories of the man.

The thoughts of everyone here at The Movie Bit are with his friends and family during this hard time.


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The Movie Bit: RIP John Hurt
RIP John Hurt
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