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Actor Sir John Hurt Dies Aged 77

Legendary British actor Sir John Hurt has died aged 77,  his agent announced today. Hurt announced that he had pancreatic cancer in 2015 but still continued to work even after his diagnosis. He revealed he had been given the all clear later that year. What caused his death is currently unknown but Hurt dropped out of starring in the West End production The Entertainer last year due to ill health.

The actor was born in Derbyshire, England in 1940 and starred in over 120 movies,  TV shows and theatre productions throughout his life. His most prominent film roles include The Elephant ManMidnight Express, and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and more recently, V for Vendetta and Harry Potter. Hurt later received a Knighthood from the Queen in 2015 for his great work in drama.

John Hurt played Kane in Ridley Scott’s Alien

Sir John Hurt is of course remembered in this community for starring in Ridley Scott’s Alien in 1979. In Alien, John Hurt played Executive Officer Kane aboard the Nostromo who is one of the three crew to explore the Derelict Spacecraft on LV-426. Kane was incapacitated by a Facehugger and brought back to the Nostromo. John Hurt was part of one of cinema’s most memorable moments when a Chestburster burst out of his chest during the dinner sequence, shocking audiences. John Hurt leaves behind his wife Anwen Rees-Myers and his two sons Sasha and Nick. He will be greatly missed.

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  1. Scorpio
    I saw him in an early role in a movie called 10 Rillington Place (which is really good btw) and he played a working class guy who was manipulated into being falsely accused for murder by a serial killer.  He really put in a great performance, but there's no John Hurt role I don't like.  My personal favourite is The Elephant Man, however.
  2. SuicideDoors
    I honestly didn't expect to wake up to this news yesterday. Absolutely devastated by the news. I'm so glad I had the chance to meet the man before he died. It was at Brighton Film and Comic Con in 2015, right at the bottom of my country. Took hours to drive down, we stayed in a shitty last minute hotel and I spent ages queued behind some douche who had Hurt signing about 50 pictures. I eventually got to meet him, have a brief chat and he added his signature to my AvPG poster and his CCG card. He was such a lovely gent. RIP John.

    That's awesome! Of the hundreds of films he's been in I would have loved to have told him how special Alien is to me, and also how much credibility someone of his talent gave the whole franchise.

    I've waved to Scott and Giger at the Prometheus premiere but that's as far as my appreciation has come :(
  3. FiorinaFury161
    As we are learning all about the different cancers in school, it makes me think there will never be a cure. When you break it down, cancer itself are mutated cells that multiply and destroy tissue/muscle/etc. The cancer cells are fed mostly by your body's creation of hormones, which your body creates multiple types all the time. Like HuDa mentioned, the survival rate is good if you catch it early and hope to before it becomes malignant (beginning to spread to other organs, again being spread even harder and faster with your body's hormones.) I have lost (practically) my entire maternal side of my family to cancer in some shape or form, so unfortunately I know a lot about the oncology of carcinomas and states of it. :(

    About pancreatic cancer, insulin is most wonderous things the human body can create. It does so much for your proper blood sugar level and digestive system. Once I learned that when you drink a Coca Cola, your body would almost go into a coma because of all the sugars and other chemicals in it. Instead, the receptors in your brain signal the digestive system to hurry up and start storing the sugars immediately, thanks to the insulin. The kidneys have about a million nephrons in each, so as the sugars left over in the blood stream filter through them, you have to think that all those chemicals and body products (such as bile) from that drink do a massive number on the body's filtering and breakdown systems. Where I was going with this is that the pancreas needs to be healthy all the time, or else your body will shut down.
  4. Corporal Hicks
    I honestly didn't expect to wake up to this news yesterday. Absolutely devastated by the news. I'm so glad I had the chance to meet the man before he died. It was at Brighton Film and Comic Con in 2015, right at the bottom of my country. Took hours to drive down, we stayed in a shitty last minute hotel and I spent ages queued behind some douche who had Hurt signing about 50 pictures. I eventually got to meet him, have a brief chat and he added his signature to my AvPG poster and his CCG card. He was such a lovely gent. RIP John.
  5. The Bonus Situation
    What a shit morning to wake up to.  :( R.I.P


    Terrible news. I hope the day will come soon when this terrible disease can be beaten

    Probably never will. Trillions of dollars have been invested into creating a cure since the 1920s and still even today in most cases cancer is a death sentence. Its like, the people who are responsible for creating a cure just take all that money for themselves.
  6. The Bonus Situation
    Rest in peace. Truly wonderful actor.

    You can't help but worry about losing the legends in front of and behind the cameras for your favourite movies. So inspiring  :(

    This is what really bugs me. I don't know them, never met them, but for some reason I just care about these people. I remember when Alan Rickman died, my heart just sank, and it was also in the morning, like now,  when I read the news.

    Rip, I am going to watch alien to honor John hurt.
    It is ironic that John Hurt is the first to go of the Alien actors and kane is the first of the crew to go.

    It is indeed ironic.
  7. Le Celticant
    I wonder if before dying he said "I can't lie to you about your chances... but you have my sympathy"  :D

    I'll miss a great actor, especially his role in Alien, what a performance to get chesbursted and V for Vendetta.

  8. BonesawT101
    RIP John, one of the most versatile and talented actors of a his generation, who of course will be remembered for starring in so many great films. Including of course bringing 'life' to arguably the greatest death scene in cinematic history.
  9. Gazz
    Felt compelled to write a few words on his passing since he was a favourite actor of mine and has been for as long as i can remember. Won't post the link, but here's what I had to say:

    I hardly know where to start when recalling the career of the man. From his physically demanding and emotionally devastating performance as John Merick in David Lynch’s The Elephant Man to his brief but iconic portrayal of tyrant-dictator Adam Sutler in V for Vendetta, John Hurt has been responsible for a great many of cinemas most memorable characters. He has worked playful wonders with shlock genre material (Roger Corman’s Frankenstein Unbound), brought much needed gravitas to fantastical landscapes (Guillermo Del Toro’s Hellboy series), quietly overwhelmed us with very few words (Michael Radford’s 1984), shone a harsh light on the plight of the mistreated (The Naked Civil Servant) or simply provided an engaging voice to guide us through the minds of villains (Perfume: Story of a Murderer). I could go on forever with mention of his roles in The Proposition, Harry Potter, Doctor Who and more. His filmography offers an embarrassment of riches! John Hurt was a man of many talents, who constantly broke through genre barriers to become a legend of the screen. And of these great many memorable and entertaining roles the one that I suspect will be recalled most is his turn as Kane in Ridley Scott’s sci-fi horror classic, Alien. And for damn good reason.

    After the release of Star Wars, Hollywood was in a frenzy to find the next science-fiction epic to rocket them to millions. During that time a script entitled “Alien” by little known writers Dan O’ Bannon and Ronald Shusset fell onto the desk of producing partners Walter Hill and David Giler. The immediate reaction was unfavourable. David Giler described the script as ‘terrible’ while Walter Hill stated he ‘didn’t think much of it’ in an interview with Film International. However both of them agreed that ‘it did have this one sensational scene’. A scene of such horror that it would continue to resonate with audiences over thirty years later. A scene that entirely hinged on the excellence and bravura of an outstanding John Hurt. It would be unwise to recount it in light of this news, but I feel it must be acknowledged that the scene’s legendary status is in no small part due to the actor at it’s centre. Sure, a great deal of technical wizardry provided ample shock and disgust, but John Hurt sold us tangible terror. A fear that grounded this sci-fi in a feeling of real-world horror. In that moment John Hurt played an enormous part in elevating this once ‘terrible’ script to the level of a genuine classic (one of many in his endlessly impressive oeuvre).

    Goodbye, John Hurt. You will be missed.
  10. Corporal Hicks
    Great story from CdL -

    So sad to hear about the passing of the great John Hurt.

    I had the honor of working with him on his ALIEN audio commentary about 15 years ago. Some years before map apps, I found myself lost and wandering around the Soho area of London looking for De Lane Lea Studios where the recording session was to take place and I was worried I was going to be late. Then I happened to notice none other than Mr. Hurt himself strolling down the street in the opposite direction. Me being pretty shy normally, I followed him at some distance, trying not to seem like a stalker. And sure enough, he led me right to where I needed to be. As I entered the lobby, I heard him tell the receptionist, "I'm here to see Charlie," at which point I finally introduced myself and we were off and running. He hadn't quite gotten the hang of doing commentaries when we started (you can hear him practically shout his introduction over the Fox fanfare on the ALIEN cast commentary) and my jet lag and relative inexperience at the time only added to the awkwardness. And yet after a few minutes, we all settled down and I enjoyed quite a pleasant, informative conversation with the man while watching the film. He really seemed to enjoy that his small part in ALIEN not only had a major impact on the film, but had also provided such an iconic moment in film history.

    As much as I will always remember Hurt as the (very) unfortunate Kane in ALIEN, even more so, I will remember him for his stunning, beautiful performance in David Lynch's THE ELEPHANT MAN. As a child, it was the first film to ever make me cry, and that was due in large part to Hurt's extraordinary turn as John Merrick. The delicate dignity and emotional power of that performance is simply unforgettable. Yes, he had a long, interesting acting career, with MIDNIGHT EXPRESS, 1984 and CONTACT being just a few of my favorites. But it's still sad to see such an interesting and brave performer depart. Rest in peace, good sir.
  11. SM
    I was only thinking the other day how remarkable that all the (human) cast of Alien were still with us, especially since the none of the men were young (Hurt being the youngest at 39).

    I really thought the cancer would do him in since pancreatic generally takes no prisoners (and took my mother in law on this day in 2012).

    While it's sad, you have to look at his remarkable body of work and how he elevated everything he was in.  Have a look at the script for the chestburster scene in Alien and it's cringe inducing.  What Hurt brought was utter brilliance.  You really believed this guy had something eating it's way out of him, such was the appalling quality of his screaming.  Obviously I don't mean his performance was appalling, but we as the audience were appalled at what befell him.

    He was truly a class act.
  12. HuDaFuK
    Well this is really shitty news to wake up to... :(

    Was watching him in Hercules just the other night. Not exactly the greatest masterpiece he's ever been in, but as usual he brought a touch of class to it.

    Also I genuinely thought he was much older than 77.
  13. FiorinaFury161
    I didn't know he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which is pretty tough on its own, let alone if it advanced to other nearby organs.

    RIP Sir Hurt, I as well shall have to watch A L I E N tonight as well.
  14. whiterabbit
    Ah man that sucks. Would have really loved to hear his opinion of Alien: Covenants chestburster scene.  :'(

    RIP man. Even though you scared the shit out of me as a kid with that damn thing busting out of your chest.  :laugh:
  15. motherfather
    Oh no. Yet another of my showbusiness heros gets snatched from this world. John's unique and instantly recognizable voice and acting talent will be greatly missed.

    Sci-fi films like 1984, A L I E N, Contact etc... wouldn't have been the same without him. We'll miss you John. Rest peacefully in hypersleep, never to be unfrozen.
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