Society

Hollywood Reacts To Death Of Actor John Hurt

| by Kathryn Schroeder

Oscar-nominated actor John Hurt has died.

The British star, aged 77, died in his Norfolk, England, home on Jan. 25 after battling pancreatic cancer, the Daily Mail reports.

"John was the most sublime of actors and the most gentlemanly of gentlemen with the greatest of hearts and the most generosity of spirit," his widow Anwen Rees-Myers said. "He touched all our lives with joy and magic and it will be a strange world without him."

Hurt was nominated for an Oscar in 1981 for his title role in "The Elephant Man." 

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"No one could have played The Elephant Man more memorably," Mel Brooks tweeted on Jan. 27. "He carried that film into cinematic immortality. He will be sorely missed."

Hurt also played wand merchant Mr. Ollivander in the "Harry Potter" film franchise. J.K. Rowling, author of the "Harry Potter" books, expressed her feelings on his death via Twitter.

"So very sad to hear that the immensely talented and deeply beloved John Hurt has died," Rowling tweeted  on Jan. 28. "My thoughts are with his family and friends."

The official "Harry Potter" Twitter account also expressed its condolences on Jan. 27: "We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of John Hurt, who played Mr. Ollivander. Harry Potter fans will miss him very much."

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Horror genre fans will remember Hurt, who was both nominated for and won many awards during his acting career, for his role as Kane in "Alien," wherein his character famously had an alien burst from his chest.

In one of Hurt's latest films, "Jackie," he played a priest who councils Jackie Kennedy following her husband's death.

"John was invincible," the film's director, Pablo Larrain said in a statement to Entertainment Weekly. "Unflinching. Eternal."

Hurt revealed in 2015 that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, but that he was not concerned with dying, the Daily Mail reports.

"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," he said at the time. "We're all just passing time, and occupy our chair very briefly."

Hurt completed multiple films that are set for release in the coming year, including "That Good Night," and "Darkest Hour."

He is survived by his wife, Rees-Myers, The Telegraph reports.

Sources: Daily Mail, J.K. Rowling/Twitter, Harry Potter Film/Twitter, Mel Brooks/Twitter, Entertainment Weekly, The Telegraph / Photo credit: Sam/Flickr

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