Alien’s John Hurt Is Dead At 77

John Hurt

Few actors have left a huge impact across multiple genres of movies over multiple decades, but John Hurt was one of those people. Starting in the early 1960s, he was an accomplished actor on the stage, cinema and television. Sadly, only a few weeks into 2017, Hurt has sadly passed away at the age of 77.

As THR and numerous other outlets reported, John Hurt died in Great Britain earlier today. Hurt was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, but he was said to be in remission by October of that same year. However, it appears his health issues did not go away, and he is unfortunately no longer among us. He is survived by his wife Anwen Rees-Myers, his older brother Anselm and his two children, Alexander "Sasha" John Vincent Hurt and Nicholas "Nick" Hurt.

John Hurt

John Hurt kicked off his film career in 1962 with The Wild and the Willing, but for American audiences, many were introduced to him in 1979's Alien, where he played Kane (seen above), the man who famously died when one of those extraterrestrial creatures burst from his chest. He later parodied that moment in 1987's Spaceballs. A year after Alien, he played John Merrick in The Elephant Man, a role for which he won a BAFTA and was nominated for a Golden Globe and and Academy Award. In the years afterwards, his notable roles included Jesus Christ in History of the World Part I, Winston Smith in 1984 and voicing The Horned King in The Black Cauldron. His cinematic work over the last two decades included playing Mr. Ollivander in the Harry Potter movies, Professor Trevor in the Hellboy movies, Harold Oxley in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Gilliam in Snowpiercer and Cotys in Hercules. His last major motion picture appearance was playing Father Richard McSorley in Jackie, and he will posthumously appear in That Good Night and My Name is Lenny.

As mentioned earlier, John Hurt's acting contributions weren't just limited to the big screen. On television (both series and films), his credits included The Naked Civil Servant, Crime and Punishment, The Storyteller and Watership Down. Science fiction and fantasy fans will remember him best TV-wise for voicing The Great Dragon in Merlin and playing The War Doctor in Doctor Who's 50th anniversary special. He continued to voice the latter role in several audio dramas from Big Finish until his death. Hurt also dipped his toe into the video game realm voting characters in Privateer 2: The Darkening and Tender Loving Care.

We here at CinemaBlend send our thoughts and condolences to John Hurt's family. If you have a favorite moment from one of the actor's performances, feel free to share it in the comments section below.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.