Remembering the acting legend William Hurt

One of the most acclaimed contemporary actors of all time

Remembering the acting legend William Hurt

William Hurt was born on March 20, 1950, in Washington, D.C. and began his career in stage productions. Only in 1980 did he make his film debut, playing a troubled scientist in Ken Russell’s science-fiction feature Altered States, for which he received a Golden Globe nomination for New Star of the Year. In 1981, he played a leading role, as a lawyer who succumbs to the temptations of a married woman, played by Kathleen Turner, in the neo-noir Body Heat, but it was “The Big Chill” in  1983 that served as a catalyst for his global fame during the 1980’s, when Hurt starred in a series of memorable and acclaimed movies that garnered the actor three consecutive nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actor, for Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985), Children of a Lesser God (1986), and Broadcast News (1987), winning for the first of these. Hurt earned his fourth Academy Award nomination for his supporting performance in David Cronenberg’s crime thriller A History of Violence (2005). During the 2000’s and 2010’s, he appeared in another batch of blockbusters, including A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), The Village (2004), Syriana (2005), The Good Shepherd (2006), Mr. Brooks (2007), Into the Wild (2007), Robin Hood (2010), and the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, in which he portrayed Thaddeus Ross. His last role was as Père La Chaise in the 2022 film, The King’s Daughter. William Hurt died from complications of terminal prostate cancer at his home in Portland, Oregon on March 13, 2022, at the age of 71.

Look back: William Hurt (alongside Raul Julia) in the academy awarded role of Luis Molina in a famous scene from “Kiss of the Spider Woman”, 1985

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