William Hurt: Oscar-Winning Actor Dies At The Age Of 71
According to reports in the United States, William Hurt, an Oscar winner whose performances varied from celebrated 1980s dramas to Marvel pictures, has died at the age of 71.
Hurt earned the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his role as a prisoner in a Brazilian jail in Kiss of the Spider Woman in 1986.
He was nominated twice again for Children of a Lesser God and Broadcast News in the next two years. In recent years, he has played General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross in five Marvel blockbusters.
Hurt made his Hollywood debut in the early 1980s, starring with Kathleen Turner in films such as Body Heat.
“It is with great regret that the Hurt family mourns the departure of William Hurt, beloved father and Oscar winner, on March 13, 2022, one week before his 72nd birthday,” Hurt’s son Will said in a statement to Hollywood website Deadline.
“He passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family, from natural causes. At this time, the family begs privacy.”Hurt’s buddy Gerry Byrne, according to Variety, confirmed the news.
In 1988, he was nominated for his third Oscar in three years for Broadcast News.
Mark Ruffalo, a fellow Marvel actor, remarked on Twitter: “Wow, the performing community has suffered yet another major setback. Excellent performer. You have a brilliant mind. RIP.”
Matthew Modine praised him as “a consummate professional” who was himself “constantly seeking greater truth and human understanding.”
“A brilliant actor has left us,” Antonio Banderas said, while Russell Crowe, M Night Shyamalan, and Rebecca Front also paid respect.
Hurt began acting on theatre in the 1970s before starring in the Altered States as an obsessed scientist, for which he received a Golden Globe nod for best newcomer in 1981.
He also acted as a womanizing lawyer in the sensual thriller Body Heat the same year before appearing in The Big Chill and Gorky Park.
He later told the Los Angeles Times that winning an Oscar for playing a gay man who shares a cell with a political prisoner in Kiss of the Spider Woman was “extremely isolating.”
“I thought to myself, “God, what do I do now?” as soon as they handed it to me. How am I going to get any other actor to trust me when I walk into a room?”
Despite this, he received two more nominations in a row before roles in The Accidental Tourist, Lost in Space, Contagion, and AI. In 2006, David Cronenberg’s A History of Violence received a fourth Oscar nomination.
He was also nominated for an Emmy for his role as Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson in 2011’s Too Big to Fail and legal thriller Damages.
He returned to the stage in Henry V, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Hurlyburly, the last of which earned him a Tony Award nomination.
Nevertheless, he was considered a fascinating but complex and frequently contentious presence. He said fame was “a challenge” and “not a happy condition for me.”
“It’s a privilege and a responsibility,” he told The Telegraph in 2013. “I’m not convinced I handled the burden properly at times, which is embarrassing.” “And I’ve had to look in the mirror after looking I become disappointed in myself for how I acted in some situations.”
He drank regularly, and former lover Sandra Jennings recalled his drunken rages in a high-profile palimony trial in 1989.
His co-star in the film Children of a Lesser God, Marlee Matlin, later accused him of physical and emotional abuse. He expressed regret “for any grief I may have caused.”
In 2018, the actor declared that he had been diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer.