John Hurt, Prolific English Character Actor, Has Died at 77

Jan 28, 2017 at 8:20 a.m. ET
Image: Euan Cherry/WENN.com

Welp, it happened again. In the span of one week, we lost not one, not two, but a great many wonderful actors. In addition to Mary Tyler Moore on Wednesday and French actress Emmanuelle Riva, famed British character actor John Hurt died at age 77 on Friday. The actor, who may be best known to Millenials as Mr. Ollivander from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, was incredibly talented by any measure.

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Hurt died of pancreatic cancer after fighting a battle against it for nearly two years. He leaves behind an astounding body of work. No, really. With more than 200 acting credits in a career spanning 55 years, it may be fair to say Hurt was one of the most prolific actors of his generation.

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Among Hurt's most famous roles are his parts in Alien, V For Vendetta, The Elephant Man and most recently in the Oscar-nominated film Jackie. Hurt was a two-time Oscar nominee himself, for Best Actor in The Elephant Man and Best Supporting Actor in The Midnight Express. His tireless work ethic meant that he was popping up in films all over the place and that his boundless, truly creative spirit touched a great many intriguing and off-the-beaten-track projects. That's what made him such an exciting, memorable and much-lauded actor.

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Hurt's body of work will outlive him, but in retrospect, that's a truly amazing thing. Hurt was a singularly great actor of great talent and, thankfully, he left many performances for us to remember him by. He will be missed.

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