William Hurt, the Oscar-winning US actor whose roles ranged from acclaimed 1980s dramas to Marvel films, has died at the age of 71.
His son Will, posted on Sunday that his father had passed away. It was announced in May 2018 that the elder Hurt had terminal prostate cancer that had spread to the bone.
“It is with great sadness that the Hurt family mourns the passing of William Hurt, beloved father and Oscar winning actor, on March 13, 2022, one week before his 72nd birthday,” his son wrote. “He died peacefully, among family, of natural causes. The family requests privacy at this time.”
Hurt had three consecutive Best Actor Academy Award nominations
Hurt had three consecutive Best Actor Academy Award nominations in the mid-1980s for Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985) — for which he also won Best Actor at the BAFTAs and the Cannes Film Festival — Children of a Lesser God (1986) and Broadcast News (1987). He later snagged a Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for A History of Violence.
He later earned Emmy nominations for Too Big to Fail in 2011 and Damages in 2009. In recent years, he has been known as General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross in five Marvel blockbusters.
Hurt was also an active stage actor during the 1980s, appearing in Off-Broadway productions and receiving his first Tony Award nomination in 1985 for the Broadway production of Hurlyburly.
On the scene of one of the worst on-set accidents in movie history
In 2014, Hurt was on the scene of one of the worst on-set accidents in movie history. He was starring as Gregg Allman in Randall Miller’s biopic, Midnight Rider, when a train smashed into the set on a trestle in rural Georgia, killing camera assistant Sarah Jones and injuring several others. Hurt was on the trestle but escaped unharmed.
The actor later said he had repeatedly expressed concern that cast and crew members, who were loaded down with gear, were safe on the trestle should a train come and was assured by AD Hillary Schwartz that they were.
“It’s the sorrow of my professional life and one of the great sorrows of my personal life,” Hurt later said of the accident. “It was simply impossible to imagine anything like that could happen. The one other thing I could have done was say, ‘This isn’t good enough for me, I’m walking off the set.’ But it was our very, very first day with a crew that had worked together before.”
Shortly after the accident, director-producer Miller attempted to move forward with the production, but Hurt quit rather than return to the film.
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