British actor Sir John Hurt, of The Elephant Man, Alien and Harry Potter fame, died at the age of 77, Reuters reported on Saturday. The actor had received treatment for pancreatic cancer in 2015 and was recently given the all clear.
In his six-decade long career, Hurt had acted in more than 200 films and television series. His portrayal of the tortured John Merrick in The Elephant Man and characterisation of heroin addict Max in Midnight Express secured him British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards and two Oscar nominations. He was also famous for his role’s in the 1979 science-fiction film Alien and popular BBC television series Doctor Who. In the Harry Potter films, Hurt starred as the intriguing wand-maker Mr Ollivander.
Members of the film fraternity expressed their sorrow over his death. Writer, Director and actor Mel Brooks, on Twitter, said, “It was terribly sad to learn of John Hurt’s passing. He was a truly magnificent talent.” Brooks said Hurt carried that film into “cinematic immortality”. On Twitter, Lord of the Rings actor Elijah Wood said, “It was such an honor to have watched you work, sir.”
During an interview in 2015, Hurt was quoted as saying, “We’re all just passing time, and occupy our chair very briefly.” Speaking about his performances during an interaction with film critic Geoff Andrews, Hurt had said, “The only way I can describe it is that I put everything I can into the mulberry of my mind and hope that it is going to ferment and make a decent wine,” BBC reported.