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Award winning actor Sir John Hurt dies aged 77

Joseph McCormick January 28, 2017
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Veteran actor Sir John Hurt has died aged 77.

The British actor, who in 2015 announced that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, also battled with an intestinal complaint.

He is survived by his wife of 12 years, Anwen Rees-Myers.

The star is known for an extensive range of roles and rose to fame in A Man For All Seasons in 1966.

He also starred in Alien, and as Winston Smith in a screen adaptation of 1984 by George Orwell.

More recently, Hurt had starred as Mr Ollivander in Harry Potter and in Doctor Who for a 50th anniversary special.

Back in 2008, Hurt attributed his fame to a role in the Naked Civil Servant in 1975 which helped him rise to fame, despite warnings that he would be typecast as a gay man after the role.

He said: “It was really The Naked Civil Servant in 1975 that put me on the radar. It was so autre, as Quentin would say.

“Everyone told me not to do it. It will wreck your career. You’re going too far. You will be typecast as a homosexual after this. At the time it was considered so outrageous. The mailbag I got after making that?… The people?…'”

Of whether he received homophobia for his role, he said: “No. Gratitude. It changed people’s lives. It was fascinating for me to find out how all these men had been living with this secrecy.”

Back in 2015, speaking of his battle with cancer, he said he did not believe in an afterlife.

He said: “I hope I shall have the courage to say, ‘Vroom! Here we go! Let’s become different molecules!”

“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. We’re all just passing time, and occupy our chair very briefly,” he added.

The star became Sir John Hurt when he received a CBE from the Queen back in 2015, and said at the time: “It does make one inordinately proud.”

He won four Baftas throughout his career including for An Englishman in New York, and for the Naked Civil Servant.

Back in 2012, he was also honoured with a lifetime achievement award by Bafta.

In 2015, when he was given the all clear after revealing he had pancreatic cancer, he said: “I am overjoyed, I am thrilled. It all looks great for the future, it’s fantastic.”

Related topics: Harry Potter, John Hurt

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