John Hurt

Actor, Painter
One of Britain's most esteemed and prolific actors, John Hurt fashioned an international career as a consummate screen chameleon, living his parts to the fullest without revealing the man behind the mask. He emerged ... Read more »
Born: 01/21/1940 in Derbyshire, England, GB

Filmography

Actor (163)

Tarzan (Warner Bros.) 2016 (Movie)

(Actor)

Crime and Punishment 2014 (Movie)

Porfiry (Actor)

Hercules 2014 (Movie)

Lord Cotys (Actor)

Labyrinth 2013 - 2014 (TV Show)

Actor

Only Lovers Left Alive 2014 (Movie)

Marlowe (Actor)

Snowpiercer 2014 (Movie)

Gilliam (Actor)

Angel Makers 2013 (Movie)

(Actor)

Charlie Countryman 2013 (Movie)

(Narrator)

Doctor Who 2013 (Tv Show)

Actor

Merlin 2008 - 2013 (Tv Show)

Voice

Brighton Rock 2011 (Movie)

Phil Corkery (Actor)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 2011 (Movie)

Ollivander (Actor)

Immortals 2011 (Movie)

Old Man (Actor)

Jayne Mansfield's Car 2011 (Movie)

Kingsley Bedford (Actor)

Melancholia 2011 (Movie)

Dexter (Actor)

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy 2011 (Movie)

Control (Actor)

44 Inch Chest 2010 (Movie)

Old Man Peanut (Actor)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 2010 (Movie)

Ollivander (Actor)

Lou 2010 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Oxford Murders 2010 (Movie)

Arthur Seldom (Actor)

An Englishman In New York 2009 (Movie)

(Actor)

New York, I Love You 2009 (Movie)

Bellhop (Actor)

Outlander 2009 (Movie)

Rothgar (Actor)

The Limits of Control 2009 (Movie)

Guitar (Actor)

Hellboy II: The Golden Army 2008 (Movie)

Professor Broom (Actor)

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull 2008 (Movie)

Professor Oxley (Actor)

Lesson 21 2008 (Movie)

(Actor)

Short Order 2008 (Movie)

Felix (Actor)

Whaledreamers 2008 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Beyond the Gates 2007 (Movie)

Father Christopher (Actor)

Boxes 2007 (Movie)

(Actor)

Masters of Science Fiction 2007 (Tv Show)

Actor

Manderlay 2006 (Movie)

Narrator (Actor)

Perfume: the Story of A Murderer 2006 (Movie)

Narrator (Actor)

The Proposition 2006 (Movie)

Jellon Lamb (Actor)

V for Vendetta 2006 (Movie)

Adam Sutler (Actor)

V for Vendetta: Unmasked 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Actor

The Skeleton Key 2005 (Movie)

Ben (Actor)

Valiant 2005 (Movie)

Voice of Felix (Voice)

Dogville 2004 (Movie)

Narrator (Actor)

Hellboy 2004 (Movie)

Professor Bruttenholm (Actor)

Pride 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

The Making of Alien Vs. Predator 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

Owning Mahowny 2003 (Movie)

Victor Foss (Actor)

Richard Burton: Taylor-Made For Stardom 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Captain Corelli's Mandolin 2001 (Movie)

Doctor Iannis (Actor)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone 2001 (Movie)

Mister Ollivander (Actor)

Miranda 2001 (Movie)

Christian (Actor)

Tabloid 2001 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Hidden Wars of Desert Storm 2001 (Movie)

(Narrator)

A Monkey's Tale 2000 (Movie)

of Chancellor Sebastian (Voice)

If... Dog... Rabbit 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Island of the Spirits 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Narrator

Lost Souls 2000 (Movie)

Father Lareaux (Actor)

New Blood 2000 (Movie)

Alan White (Actor)

Night Train 2000 (Movie)

Michael Poole (Actor)

The Tigger Movie 2000 (Movie)

(Narrator)

Universe 2001: Beyond the Millennium 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Narrator

All the Little Animals 1999 (Movie)

Mr Summmers (Actor)

Brute 1999 (Movie)

Dr Babits (Actor)

Warrior Island -- Fayu 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Narrator

You're Dead 1999 (Movie)

Michael Maitland (Actor)

Black Holes: The Ultimate Abyss 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Narrator

Love and Death on Long Island 1998 (Movie)

Giles De'Ath (Actor)

True Story of the Elephant Man 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Narrator

Contact 1997 (Movie)

S R Hadden (Actor)

Dead Man 1996 (Movie)

John Scholfield (Actor)

On Jupiter 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Narrator

Picture Windows 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

The Climb 1996 (Movie)

Chuck Langer (Actor)

Betrayal 1995 (Movie)

Narration (Narrator)

Rob Roy 1995 (Movie)

Montrose (Actor)

Wild Bill 1995 (Movie)

Charley Prince (Actor)

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues 1994 (Movie)

The Countess (Actor)

Hans Christian Andersen's Thumbelina 1994 (Movie)

of Mr Mole (Voice)

Saigon Baby 1994 (Movie)

Jack Lee (Actor)

Second Best 1994 (Movie)

Uncle Turpin (Actor)

Two Nudes Bathing 1994 (Movie)

The Comte (Actor)

Dark at Noon 1993 (Movie)

Anthony (Actor)

Monolith 1993 (Movie)

Villano (Actor)

Shades of Fear 1993 (Movie)

Rex Goodyear (Actor)

Lapse of Memory 1992 (Movie)

Conrad Farmer (Actor)

Paul McCartney: Going Home 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Narrator

I Dreamt I Woke Up 1991 (Movie)

Boorman's Alter Ego (Actor)

King Ralph 1991 (Movie)

Lord Percival Graves (Actor)

Resident Alien 1991 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Roger Corman's Frankenstein Unbound 1990 (Movie)

Dr Joseph Buchanan (Actor)

The Field 1990 (Movie)

The Bird (Actor)

The Investigation: Inside a Terrorist Bombing 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Windprints 1990 (Movie)

Charles Rutherford (Actor)

Pyramid 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Voice

Romeo-Juliet 1989 (Movie)

of Mercutio (Voice)

Romeo-Juliet 1989 (Movie)

La Dame aux Chats (Actor)

Scandal 1989 (Movie)

Dr Stephen Ward (Actor)

The Jim Henson Hour 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

The Winged Messenger 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Narrator

A Story Short 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Aria 1988 (Movie)

Actor (Actor)

Bengali Nights 1988 (Movie)

Lucien Metz (Actor)

Deadline 1988 (Movie)

Granville Jones (Actor)

Fearnot 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Inside the Actors Studio 1988 (Tv Show)

Interviewee

Little Sweetheart 1988 (Movie)

Robert (Actor)

The Luck Child 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Vincent - The Life and Death of Vincent Van Gogh 1988 (Movie)

of Vincent Van Gogh (Voice)

White Mischief 1988 (Movie)

Gilbert Colvile (Actor)

From the Hip 1987 (Movie)

Douglas Benoit (Actor)

Hans My Hedgehog 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Spaceballs 1987 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Jake Speed 1986 (Movie)

Sid (Actor)

Rocinante 1985 (Movie)

Bill (Actor)

The Black Cauldron 1985 (Movie)

of Horned King (Voice)

1984 1984 (Movie)

Winston Smith (Actor)

After Darkness 1984 (Movie)

Peter Huninger (Actor)

Success Is the Best Revenge 1984 (Movie)

Dino Montecurva (Actor)

Champions 1983 (Movie)

Bob Champion (Actor)

Observations Under the Volcano 1983 (Movie)

narration(Malcolm Lowry writings) (Narrator)

Sunset People 1983 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

The Hit 1983 (Movie)

Braddock (Actor)

The Osterman Weekend 1983 (Movie)

Lawrence Fassett (Actor)

History of the World Part I 1981 (Movie)

Jesus (Actor)

Partners 1981 (Movie)

Fred Kerwin (Actor)

The Plague Dogs 1981 (Movie)

of Snitter (Voice)

Heaven's Gate 1980 (Movie)

William C Irvine (Actor)

Night Crossing 1980 (Movie)

Peter Strelzyk (Actor)

The Elephant Man 1980 (Movie)

John Merrick (Actor)

Alien 1979 (Movie)

Kane (Actor)

Midnight Express 1978 (Movie)

Max (Actor)

The Lord of the Rings 1978 (Movie)

Aragorn (Actor)

The Shout 1978 (Movie)

Anthony Fielding (Actor)

Watership Down 1978 (Movie)

(Voice)

Disappearance 1976 (Movie)

(Actor)

East of Elephant Rock 1975 (Movie)

(Actor)

La Linea del fiume 1975 (Movie)

(Actor)

Shadows of Doubt 1975 (Movie)

(Actor)

Do Yourself Some Good 1974 (Movie)

Narration (Narrator)

The Ghoul 1974 (Movie)

Tom (Actor)

Little Malcolm and His Struggle Against the Eunuchs 1973 (Movie)

Malcolm Scrawdyke (Actor)

The Pied Piper 1971 (Movie)

Franz (Actor)

10 Rillington Place 1970 (Movie)

Timothy John Evans (Actor)

Mr. Forbush and the Penguins 1970 (Movie)

Forbush (Actor)

In Search of Gregory 1969 (Movie)

Daniel Morelli (Actor)

Sinful Davey 1969 (Movie)

David Haggart (Actor)

Before Winter Comes 1968 (Movie)

Lieutenant Francis Pilkington (Actor)

The Sailor From Gibraltar 1967 (Movie)

John (Actor)

A Man For All Seasons 1966 (Movie)

Richard Rich (Actor)

The Wild and the Willing 1964 (Movie)

Phil (Actor)

Aladdin and the Magic Lamp (TV Show)

Narrator

Hellboy: Blood and Iron (TV Show)

Voice

Hiroshima (TV Show)

Narrator

I, Claudius (TV Show)

Actor

King Lear (TV Show)

Actor

Krapp's Last Tape (TV Show)

Actor

Recount (TV Show)

Actor

Spectre (TV Show)

Actor

The Commissioner (TV Show)

Actor

The Gruffalo (TV Show)

Voice

The Strain (Tv Show)

Actor

The Three Ravens (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

One of Britain's most esteemed and prolific actors, John Hurt fashioned an international career as a consummate screen chameleon, living his parts to the fullest without revealing the man behind the mask. He emerged from the London drama stage to film stardom in the late 1970s with a pair of powerhouse performances in "Midnight Express" (1978) and "Alien" (1979) - roles that established Hurt's strength for playing mental and physical suffering. In addition to his other renowned characters of torment - most famously, "The Elephant Man" (1980) - Hurt's palette grew to include the oppressed Winston Smith in "1984" (1984) and numerous baleful deadbeats, such as in "Night Train" (1998). He also displayed a penchant for playing morally compromised nobleman, as portrayed in "Rob Roy" (1995) and "V for Vendetta" (2006). As he aged, Hurt added an increasing number of academics and authors to his résumé, including roles in "Love and Death on Long Island" (1997) and "Hellboy" (2004). Despite the character actor's naturalistic portraits, there was no denying Hurt also had an eye for the commercial as well, co-starring in "Hellboy II: The Golden Army" (2008) and "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Scull" (2008). Whether he starred in a high-profile audience pleaser or a critically acclaimed dramatic film, Hurt always brought his talents to the fore.

Relationships

Jo Dalton Research

Wife
Met while filming Scandal (1989) Married 1990 Divorced 1996

Arnould Hurt

Father

Phyllis Hurt

Mother

Alexander Hurt

Son
Born February 6, 1990 mother, Jo Dalton

Nicholas Hurt

Son
Born February 5, 1993 mother, Jo Dalton

Michael Hurt

Brother
Attended Cambridge renounced his vows and was twice briefly married returned to monastery near Limerick, Ireland

Monica Hurt

Sister
Adopted

Sara Owens

Companion
Born c. 1960 living together in County Wicklow (Ireland) as of January 2000

Donna Peacock

Wife
Married 1984 Divorced 1990

Anwen Rees-Myers

Wife
Married March 2005

Annette Robertson Actor

Wife
Married 1962; shotgun marriage unraveled when the baby did not materialize Divorced 1964

Marie-Lise Volpeliere-Pierrot

Companion
Together from c. 1970 until her death from a riding accident on January 26, 1983 often featured in Vogue magazine

EDUCATION

Lincoln Christ's Hospital School

Lincolnshire

Central St. Martins College

1959
Won a scholarship to attend for an Art Teachers Diploma (ATD)

Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

London , England 1960 - 1962
Won a scholarship; contemporaries were Sarah Miles, David Warner and Gemma Jones

Sent to an Anglo-Catholic prep school in Kent at the age of seven; eventually didn't make the grade academically

Grimsby Art School

Currently known as the East Coast School of Art & Design

Milestones

2011

Cast in Lars Von Trier's apocalyptic drama "Melancholia"

2011

Joined ensemble cast of thriller "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"

2011

Appeared as an old man in "Immortals"

2010

Reprised role of Mr. Ollivander for the seventh and final installment of the series directed by David Yates, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows"; film released in two parts, "Part 1" in November 2010 and "Part 2" in July 2011

2008

Appeared in Steven Spielberg's "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" as Harold Oxley

2006

Cast as the villainous Bishop Lilliman in the Wachowski brothers' "V for Vendetta"

2005

Starred opposite Kate Hudson in the supernatural thriller "Skeleton Key"

2004

Cast as Professor Bruttenholm in the feature adaption of the popular comic book series "Hellboy"

2004

Reprised role of Mr. Ollivander for "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban"

2003

Re-teamed with director Richard Kwietniowski for "Owning Mahowny"

2001

Played Mr. Ollivander, the wand-maker in the first Harry Potter film "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone"

2000

Acted in a film version of "Krapp's Last Tape"

2000

Played a priest in Janusz Kiminski's feature directorial debut "Lost Souls"

1998

Starred opposite Christian Bale in Jeremy Thomas' directorial debut "All the Little Animals"

1997

Earned acclaim for his performance in Richard Kwietniowski's feature directorial debut, "Love and Death on Long Island"

1997

Narrated The Discovery Channel's "True Story of the Elephant Man"

1995

Re-teamed with Caton-Jones for "Rob Roy"

1995

Cast in the John Boorman directed "Two Nudes Bathing" segment of Showtime's "Picture Windows"

1995

Starred with Helen Mirren in an award-winning West End production of Turgenev's "A Month in the Country"

1990

Appeared as himself in the documentary feature "Resident Alien: Quentin Crisp in New York"

1989

Offered an excellent turn as Dr. Stephen Ward, a sexual provocateur in Michael Caton-Jones' directorial debut "Scandal"

1989

Portrayed the Storyteller on NBC variety anthology summer series "The Jim Henson Hour"

1987

Played the title role of the narrator on the NBC children's fantasy series "The Storyteller"

1987

Re-teamed with director Mel Brooks for the disappointing "Star Wars" spoof "Spaceballs"

1987

Provided the voice of the artist for the documentary "Vincent – The Life and Death of Vincent Van Gogh"

1984

Played the stubbornly nonconformist Winston Smith in Michael Radford's adaptation of the novel "Nineteen Eighty-Four"

1984

Acted the part of the brooding assassin in Stephen Frears' sinister "The Hit"

1983

Appeared in Sam Peckinpah's critically panned but hugely successful final film "The Osterman Weekend"

1982

Starred as the Fool opposite Laurence Olivier's King in BBC production of "King Lear"

1981

Played Jesus in Mel Brooks' "History of the World, Part I"

1980

Portrayed the title character in David Lynch's adaption of the Joseph Merrick biography "The Elephant Man"; garnered a Best Actor Academy Award nomination

1980

Acted in Michael Cimino's colossal bomb "Heaven's Gate" as the lost, embittered alcoholic Billy Irvine

1979

Essayed the role of Kane, the memorable first victim of the title creature in Ridley Scott's "Alien"

1978

Earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his role as a drugged-out hippie in Alan Parker's "Midnight Express"

1978

First U.S. feature, voiced Aragorn in Ralph Bakshi's animated adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkein's "The Lord of the Rings"

1977

First U.S. TV-movie, "Spectre" (NBC)

1976

First non-British film, the Italian-made "La Linea del Fiume/Stream Line"

1976

Offered a brilliant turn as Roman emperor Caligula in the BBC adaptation of "I, Claudius"

1975

Shot to fame as Quentin Crisp in the TV play, "The Naked Civil Servant"

1974

Portrayed Tristran Tzara in the Royal Shakespeare Company production of Tom Stoppard's "Travesties"

1973

Essayed the role of Ben in Pinter's London revival of "The Dumb Waiter"

1972

Performed in Harold Pinter's London stage revival of "The Caretaker"

1969

Portrayed the inarticulate Timothy Evans in "10 Rillington Place"

1968

Played the title role of a 19th-century Scottish highwayman in John Huston's uninspired "Sinful Davey"

1966

Portrayed Richard Rich in the film version of "A Man for All Seasons"

1963

Won the Variety Club Award as Most Promising Newcomer for his stage performance in "The Dwarfs"; first collaboration with playwright Harold Pinter

1962

Film acting debut, "The Wild and the Willing"; directed and produced by Ralph Thomas

1962

Professional stage debut in the London production, "Infanticide in the House of Fred Ginger"

1961

Made TV debut in "Mourtzanos"

1953

Stage debut in a school production of "The Bluebird"

Worked as a stage hand with Lincoln Repertory

Bonus Trivia

.

In 1991, Hurt was banned from driving for one year and fined $344 after pleading guilty on Sept. 4 to a charge of drunken and dangerous driving in Dublin, Ireland.

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"The reason I like independent film is a very simple one, the smaller the project, the more adventurous the content." – Hurt to Newsday, March 1, 1998

.

About his frequently playing gay characters, despite being heterosexual: "I don't know whether it has to do with what I give off. I've never had a problem with people's sexuality and maybe that comes across. It seems to me that you're very lucky to be in love and very lucky to be loved, no matter who it is. Also, being brought up in an all male boarding school with mutual masturbation, it never occurred to me there was anything particularly wrong with it." – Hurt to Jim Farber in the Daily News, March 8, 1998

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"I told Mr. Hurt it was difficult for actors to play victims, but he has specialized in victims. When he stopped playing me, he played Caligula, which was only me in a sheet. Then he played The Elephant Man, which was only me with a paper bag over his head." – Quentin Crisp's quote reprinted in The Guardian, Jan. 3, 2000

.

On the script for "The Naked Civil Servant": "It was an absolutely stunning piece of writing; it screamed off the page. It was a very risky piece for an actor – a television play about an effeminate homosexual who is also an exhibitionist. Many people told me it would be the end of my career – well how often do you have to hear that?" – Hurt quoted in the London Times, Jan. 9, 2000

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On why he returned to stage acting with "Krapp's Last Tape": "I love film and I always have and I don't regret having spent most of my time doing it. But film roles become rarer and rarer the older you get. Most of the interesting and exciting parts are between the ages of 25 and 45. It's not the same in theater. And the chance to be eloquent on film is far less than it used to be. If you make something work on stage, it is still my belief that it will work. If you make something work on film, it may not get past the marketing boys." – Hurt quoted in London's Evening Standard, Jan. 26, 2000

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"If I've been anything I've been adventurous. There have been times when things haven't been going that great. And I don't know anybody who has a career that goes swimmingly from beginning to end. Everyone says, 'Yes, but you're established now, you can choose what you want to do.' But there's a hell of a lot of other people very well proven who can also choose what they want to do. And there are many fewer roles. The biggest mistake is trying to make yourself younger. You should allow yourself to be the age you are and enjoy exploring that area." – Hurt to London's Evening Standard, April 26, 2001

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Hurt was made a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in June 2004.

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