John Hurt Dead

John Hurt Dead at 77

Sir John Hurt, the two-time Academy Award nominee whose TV credits included episodes of Doctor Who and the voice of The Great Dragon on BBC One’s Merlin, died on Friday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 77.

Hurt’s TV roles also included Caligula in the BBC’s 1976 miniseries I, Claudius, the 2012 mini Labyrinth, the Kiefer Sutherland-created web-turned-Hulu series The Confession and, most recently, the European crime drama The Last Panthers (which aired Stateside on SundanceTV last spring).

The Brit was also originally cast as The Strain‘s Dr. Setrakian, but was replaced after the pilot was shot, with fellow Harry Potter vet David Bradley.

On the silver screen, Hurt earned Oscar and Golden Globe nods for both his heart-wrenching turn as David Merrick in The Elephant Man and as heroin addict Max in Midnight Express, winning a Globe for the latter. His other film roles included Alien, 1984, V for Vendetta, two Hellboy movies, Harry Potter‘s Mr. Ollivander and Snowpiercer.

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  1. Lavendare says:

    Sad news.

    Please rent or stream “Love and Death on Long Island.” John Hurt should have been Oscar nominated for his role.

    It’s a film of great nuance, intelligence, and heart that got rave reviews but limited distribution.

  2. Sheila says:

    That’s a shame. I always liked him.

  3. Debbie says:

    I first experienced John Hurt’s talent when I was a teenager. His portrayal of Quentin Crisp in The Naked Civil Servant was unlike anything I’d ever seen on American television. This was in he early 70’s and I’ve been a fan ever since. He brought depth and nuance to any role he inhabited. It’s a shame that he’s gone.

  4. Ron says:

    RIP. Sad news. Clearly 2017 is picking up where 2016 left off, unfortunately.

    • It’s only the start of a new trend. We’re seeing the start of the Baby Boomer die-off. Those born in 1945 are now into their 70s. And since TV didn’t really become big until the 50s, celebrity deaths were mostly about movie stars. An actor from a 1955 TV show, if 20 at the time and still alive today, would be 90. TVs golden age was the 50s-70s. Most still living 70s stars are over 70.

      • LEP says:

        I was just thinking the same thing about Baby Boomers. There’s just a lot of them advancing in age. Plus, at the same time, we’re losing those of the older generation that have lived into their 80’s and 90’s. But I had not made the connection to the rise of television as a new medium in the 50’s and 60’s and beyond. Great point.

  5. readenreply says:

    1984 the movie!
    how could you miss that since the book is back on the bestsellers list thanks to alternative facts!

  6. Cat says:

    Loved the banter between the Great Dragon and Merlin on the BBC series. RIP John.

  7. I tend to remember him as the Storyteller in the Jim Henson series.