Acting legend John Hurt, of Alien and Doctor Who, dies at 77

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Jan 27, 2017

After a career that has spanned decades — including some sci-fi masterpieces — legendary actor John Hurt has died at the age of 77.

A cause of death was not immediately revealed, though Hurt announced in June 2015 that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

For sci-fi fans, Hurt's career speaks for itself. He recently starred as The War Doctor on Doctor Who and had memorable roles in Alien, Snowpiercer, Merlin, V For Vendetta, the Harry Potter franchise, Hellboy, 1984 and myriad other projects. Outside of the genre, the Oscar-nominated actor built his career with turns in films such as David Lynch’s The Elephant Man, The Wild and the Willing and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. We'd recap more of his projects, but he literally had more than 200 credits to his name.

There's no denying Hurt leaves behind an impressive body of work and was a true professional. He often disappeared into his roles, which is why you might not have even realized he was in some of your favorite films. He was just that good. He once offered these thoughts to Under the Radar on what makes a great career:

"It's that the script should succeed on the level it's intended to succeed on. Those are as carefully chosen words as I can give you. I don't care what the genre is. I don’' care if it's a comedy, a light comedy, a high comedy. I don't care if it's a drama. I don't care whether it's a little, tiny gutter movie. I don't care if it's an intellectual movie. I don't care what it is, just so long as it stands a chance at succeeding on that level. If it doesn't stand that chance … if it's pretending to be comedic and it just isn't, I have to say I'm sorry. It's not for me. I can't do anything about that; I can't make it funny ... [Y]ou then say to yourself: what of my part in it? Is there something that I can do that's very specific? Maybe something that I can do that somebody else could not? And if those two things come together — and you think the director is wonderful — then you immediately go yes, please!"

Throughout his career, John Hurt was nominated for two Oscars, honored with a lifetime achievement award by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in July 2015.

Rest in peace, Mr. Hurt. You will be missed.

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)