William Hurt, Oscar-Winning Actor, Dies at 71
An Oscar-winning actor and a fixture in movies for more than 40 years has died. William Hurt passed away on Sunday. He was 71 years old.
His son Will posted a statement announcing his father’s death: “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. He died peacefully, among family, of natural causes. The family requests privacy at this time.” According to Deadline, Hurt was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer in 2018.
Hurt’s film career got off to an auspicious start, with 1980’s Altered States. In the film he played a scientist who uses a sensory deprivation tank to study the origins of humanity — and inadvertently begins regressing into a caveman. It’s a wild trip of a film.
Hurt quickly became one of the most in-demand actors of the 1980s. He received Oscar nominations in three consecutive years in the middle of the decade, and won the Academy Award for Best Actor for 1985’s Kiss of the Spider Woman.
The following year he was nominated again for the romantic drama Children of a Lesser God. Then the next year he was nominated a third time for the classic romantic comedy Broadcast News, where he played a handsome television news anchor who gets into a love triangle involving two co-workers (Holly Hunter, Albert Brooks).
Hurt’s fourth and final Academy Award nomination came in the Supporting Actor category, for his work in David Cronenberg’s A History of Violence. In recent years, younger audiences knew him best as General Ross, the adversary of the Hulk and later all of the Avengers, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Hurt played Ross six different times in the MCU, including five films and one short. His most recent appearance came in 2021’s Black Widow.
Hurt’s best films also include the erotic thriller Body Heat, the cult sci-fi classic Dark City, and Steven Spielberg’s A.I.: Artificial Intelligence. He also began working frequently in television in recent years, working on shows like Goliath and Condor. He had an incredible career and it ended far too soon. We should have gotten many more years of elder statesman William Hurt.