William Hurt, who became a leading figure in the 1980s, won an Oscar for “Kiss of the Spider Woman” in 1985 and starred in “The Big Chill” and “Body Heat”. He died a natural death on Sunday. He was 71. Hurt’s death was confirmed by Variety’s friend Gerry Byrne.
His son Will said in a statement: “With great sorrow, the Hurts family mourns the death of William Hurt, a beloved father and Oscar-winning actor, on March 13, 2022, the week before his 72nd birthday. He died peacefully among the family of natural causes. actor William Hurt Oscar-winning dies at 71
Hurt has been nominated for four Oscars over his long career, receiving two Best Actor nominations for “Broadcasting” and “Children of a Lesser God” and for a supporting role that nodded in less than 10 minutes. screening time in “A History” of Violence. “He was one of the most published artists of the 1980s and became a brain sex symbol and a restrained, albeit financially advantageous, movie star.
Later, in the 1990s, Hurt changed character roles and successfully switched between big
screen and television projects, earning Emmy nominations for his work as a flutist on “Damages” and his portraits. Finance Minister Henry Paulson in “Too Big to Fail.”
Hurt recently made a name for himself with the younger generation of movie lovers, portraying the useless General Thaddeus Ross in The Incredible Hulk in 2008. He later reprized his roles in “Captain America: Civil War” and “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Avengers: Endgame.” and Black Widow.
Hurt was born on March 20, 1950 in Washington, DC. His mother Claire Isabel worked for Time Inc. and his father Alfred Hurt (1910-1996), a career bureaucrat, worked for the United States Agency for International Development and the State Department. Her parents divorced when she was 6, and her mother remarried to Henry Luce III, the son of Time magazine publisher Henry Luce.
Hurt grew up on relative privileges and then attended school at Tufts University, where he studied theology before moving to Juilliard to study acting. After appearing on stage, Hurt starred in “Altered States” and played as a rebel scientist in Ken Russell’s unconventional film, a popular entry into the body horror genre.
But a year later, Hurt reached a new level of prominence when he appeared alongside Kathleen Turner in “Body Heat,” a steam noir that updates the nature of betrayal and double crossing, as seen in movies like “The Big Sleep” and “Double.” “Compensation” with the promotion of sexuality.
The two artists who burned the canvas positively became big stars. Hurt followed up with another starring role in “Gorky Park” and part of the ensemble in “The Big Chill,” a drama about a group of friends who meet again that became the touchstone of the baby boom generation.
All this leads to one of the most bizarre periods of domination the movie star has ever enjoyed. From 1986 to 1988, Hurt was nominated for three consecutive Oscars for Best Actor, winning for his portrayal of a gay man in Hector Babenc’s “The Kiss of the Spider Woman.” Roger Ebert, who wrote for the Chicago Sun Times, praised Hurt’s work and praised him for creating “… a character completely different from the one he has ever played – a straightforward theatrical character, exaggeration and behavior – and yet he doesn’t like effects.
“Her Oscar-nominated work on ‘Children of the Little God’ and ‘Broadcasting’, where she plays a school teacher for a deaf and hospitable, somewhat hostile reporter, shows her reach. The commercial and critical success of these films belonged to Hurt in the A-list, but he didn’t seem to enjoy the glory.
“It’s not good that my privacy has been compromised to that extent,” Hurt told the New York Times in 1989. “I’m a private person and I have the right to be one. because I’m an artist, you can take my privacy, you can steal my soul. You can’t. ”
Perhaps the lack of fame caused Hurt to make some great films during his career, which gave the actors a chance to die in films such as “Jurassic Park” and “Misery”. His time in the spotlight also coincided with the time of personal unrest, during which he fought drugs and alcohol.
“I was completely lousy, and in the end I was pretty lousy a long time ago, and I said, ‘I’m ready, I can’t hack this, I can’t do this,'” Hurt told the Washington Post in 1989. , recalls the time before he went to rehab. The relationship with Marlee Matlin, her colleague from “Children of a Little God”, was strained.
Matlin later wrote memoirs that Hurt had abused him emotionally and physically. In a statement at the time, Hurt said through his spokesman: “My confidence is that we both apologize and we have both done a lot to improve our lives. Of course I apologize. And forgive me for any pain I cause. I have … and I know that we both grew up. I hope Marlee and her family are nothing but good. ”
The 1990s turned out to be less productive for Professional Hurt. For his work on “The Doctor,” he received commendable memories of an arrogant surgeon who underwent a heart after a medical battle, but other films such as “Second Chance” and “Until the End of the World” did not receive much attention. generate. The unique attempt at popcorn entertainment with the 1998 adaptation of “Lost in Space” on the big screen was a small hit, but he didn’t get enough money to produce a franchise, and Hurt was unhappy with the film.
“Art is a very intimate and private thing,” Hurt told the New York Times in 1983. “Acting requires as much loneliness as the art of writing. Yes, you fight other people, but you have to learn a craft, a technique. It’s a job. It’s weird that my acting has to be such a cry, my husband’s attention, as if I needed a lot of love or a lot of attention, I gave up the right to be a private person.
In her 2009 memoirs, Matlin described the physical and emotional abuse during her relationship in detail. At the time of his release, Hurt apologized and said, “I remember we both apologized and did a lot to improve our lives.”
During these years, Hurt also struggled with drug and alcohol abuse and went to rehab clinics. He also cultivated a reputation as not always an easy friend. The New Yorker called him an “infamous temperament.” In 1989, Hurt married Heidi Henderson, whom he met in rehab. They have two kids. Hurt also has a daughter with French actress and filmmaker Sandrine Bonnaire, whom he met during the filming of Albert Camus’ 1992 live video, the adaptation of “The Mor”.
Among Hurt’s greatest appearances was James L. Brooks’ 1987 comedy “Broadcast News,” as a smooth but cheerful anchor symbolizes an emerging blend of entertainment and journalism.
Albert Brooks, a representative of Hurt’s “Broadcast News,” was one of many who responded to Hurt’s death on Sunday.
“It’s sad to hear this news,” Brooks wrote on Twitter. “Working with him on Broadcast News was great. I miss him so much.”
After running fast in the 1980s, Hurt lost the favor of filmmakers in the 1990s, and some say it was because of his reputation. However, Hurt continued to defend his approach, and in 1994 he told The Los Angeles Times that “I will do more by addressing reality than by setting expectations and speeding up expectations.”
“When a director tells me to make the audience think or feel something, it immediately crushes me,” Hurt said. “I’m not here to make others think or feel anything specific. I generally agree with one thing. The piece says. More than that, it’s just my duty to solve the truth about the thing.” “I don’t owe anyone – including the director.”
He has also appeared in television mini-series versions of “Dune”, “A.I. Artificial Wisdom” and “The Village” by M. Night Shyamalan.
In retrospect, Hurt, whose blond hair is thinning, seems to have lived a life in supporting roles and scored in a scene that alternated in theft as an urban spy in The Good Shepherd, the compulsive father of Into the Wild and, most memorable . , as an evil tyrant in “History of Violence
.” His role in a later film, in which he added to his successful brother that “when my mom took you out of the hospital, I tried to catch you in your crib,” was a master class that did a lot with a little time on screen. Hurt was married to actress Mary Beth Hurt from 1971 to 1982 and married Heidi Henderson from 1989 to 1991.