53 Facts About John Hurt


Sir John Vincent Hurt was an English actor whose career spanned over five decades.


John Hurt possessed what was described as the "most distinctive voice in Britain".


John Hurt received numerous awards including the BAFTA Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award in 2012 and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2015 for his services to drama.


John Hurt came to prominence playing Richard Rich in the film A Man for All Seasons and won the British Academy Television Award for Best Actor for The Naked Civil Servant.


John Hurt played Caligula in the BBC TV series I, Claudius.


John Hurt gained further prominence portraying Mr Ollivander in the Harry Potter film series, and appearing in the Hellboy films, V for Vendetta, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Outlander, and Snowpiercer.


John Hurt acted in the acclaimed films Melancholia, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Only Lovers Left Alive, Hercules, and Jackie.


John Hurt reprised his role as Quentin Crisp in An Englishman in New York, which brought his seventh BAFTA nomination.


John Hurt portrayed the War Doctor in the BBC TV series Doctor Who 50th anniversary special, "The Day of the Doctor", in 2013.


John Hurt voiced roles in Watership Down, The Lord of the Rings, The Plague Dogs, The Black Cauldron, and Dogville as well as BBC's Merlin.


John Vincent Hurt was born on 22 January 1940 in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, the son of Phyllis, an engineer and one-time actress, and Arnold Herbert Hurt, a mathematician who became a Church of England clergyman and served as vicar of Holy Trinity Church in Shirebrook, Derbyshire.


John Hurt's father was previously vicar of St John's parish in Sunderland, County Durham.


When John Hurt was five, his father became the vicar of St Stephen's Church in Woodville, Derbyshire, and remained there until 1953.


At the age of eight, John Hurt was sent to the Anglican St Michael's Preparatory School in Otford, Kent, where he eventually developed his passion for acting.


John Hurt decided he wanted to become an actor after his first role as a girl in a school production of The Blue Bird by Maurice Maeterlinck.


John Hurt stated that a senior master at the school would abuse him and others by removing his two false front teeth and putting his tongue in the boys' mouths, as well as rubbing their faces with his stubble, and that the experience affected him hugely.


John Hurt's father moved to St Aidan's Church in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire.


John Hurt's parents disliked his later acting ambitions and encouraged him to become an art teacher instead.


Aged 17, John Hurt enrolled in Grimsby Art School, where he studied art.


John Hurt played Timothy Evans, who was hanged for murders committed by his landlord John Christie, in 10 Rillington Place, earning him his first BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actor.


John Hurt won further acclaim for his bravura performance as the Roman emperor Caligula in the BBC drama serial I, Claudius.


John Hurt appeared in the 1978 film Midnight Express, for which he won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.


John Hurt voiced Hazel, the heroic rabbit leader of his warren in the film adaptation of Watership Down and later played the major villain, General Woundwort, in the animated television series version.


John Hurt appeared as Raskolnikov in a BBC television adaptation of Crime and Punishment.


John Hurt voiced Snitter in The Plague Dogs, played Winston Smith in the film adaptation of George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four and starred in Disney's The Black Cauldron, voicing the film's main antagonist, the Horned King.


John Hurt returned for the adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, though his scenes in that film were cut.


John Hurt voiced the Great Dragon Kilgharrah, who aids the young warlock Merlin as he protects the future King Arthur, in the BBC television series Merlin.


John Hurt returned to Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, playing the on-screen Big Brother for the Paper Zoo Theatre Company's stage adaptation of the novel in June 2009.


At the 65th British Academy Film Awards John Hurt won the award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema.


In 2013, John Hurt appeared in Doctor Who as a 'forgotten' incarnation of the Doctor, known as the War Doctor.


John Hurt played the title character in an audio drama adaptation of The Invisible Man for the company, for which he was nominated for a BBC Audio Drama Award.


John Hurt was due to appear alongside Ben Kingsley in a film entitled Broken Dream, to be directed by Neil Jordan.


John Hurt was initially cast as former British prime minister Neville Chamberlain in Darkest Hour.


In 1962, John Hurt's father left his parish in Cleethorpes to become headmaster of St Michael's College in the Central American country of British Honduras.


John Hurt's mother died in 1975, and his father died in 1999 at the age of 95.


John Hurt went into a coma and died later that day.


In September 1984, John Hurt married his old friend, Donna Peacock, an American actress, at a local Register Office.


On 24 January 1990, John Hurt married Joan Dalton, an American production assistant, whom he had met while filming Scandal.


In March 2005, John Hurt married his fourth wife, Anwen Rees-Meyers, an advertising film producer.


John Hurt gave up smoking and drinking during his fourth marriage.


The search revealed that his great-grandmother had previously lived in Grimsby, at a location within a mile of the art college at which John Hurt had been a student.


In 2016, John Hurt announced he was in favour of the United Kingdom voting to remain in the EU.


On 16 June 2015, John Hurt publicly announced that he had been diagnosed with early-stage pancreatic cancer.


John Hurt died at his home in Cromer, Norfolk, on 25 January 2017, three days after his 77th birthday.


In 2004, John Hurt was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.


John Hurt was created a Knight Bachelor in the 2015 New Year Honours for services to drama.


The John Hurt Centre opened in September 2016 and is an education and exhibition space located at Cinema City, Norwich.


Since 2003, John Hurt was a patron of the Proteus Syndrome Foundation, both in the United Kingdom and in the US.


Proteus syndrome is the condition that Joseph Merrick, who Hurt played in The Elephant Man, is thought to have suffered from, although Merrick's exact condition is still not known with certainty.


From 2006, John Hurt had been a patron of Project Harar, a UK-based charity working in Ethiopia for children with facial disfigurements.


John Hurt was announced as patron of Norwich Cinema City in March 2013.


In 2014, John Hurt designed a Paddington Bear statue which was placed outside the British Museum.


In January 2002, John Hurt received an honorary degree from the University of Derby.