William Hurt

Actor
The textbook model of the sensitive leading man, Oscar-winning actor William Hurt was a major player in 1980s cinema who was typically cast as a detached intellectual type and easily at his best playing characters who ... Read more »
Born: 03/19/1950 in Washington, Washington D.C., USA

Filmography

Actor (101)

Beowulf 2015 - 2016 (TV Show)

Actor

Humans 2014 - 2015 (TV Show)

Actor

The Moon and the Sun 2015 (Movie)

Pere la Chaise (Actor)

Bonnie & Clyde 2013 - 2014 (TV Show)

Actor

By Way of Helena 2014 (Movie)

Governor Ross (Actor)

Days and Nights 2014 (Movie)

Herb (Actor)

Hellgate 2014 (Movie)

Warren Mills (Actor)

Midnight Rider: The Gregg Allman Story 2014 (Movie)

Gregg Allman (Actor)

Sebastian's Love 2014 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Challenger Disaster 2013 - 2014 (TV Show)

Actor

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby 2014 (Movie)

Julian Rigby (Actor)

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her/Him 2014 (Movie)

Julian Rigby (Actor)

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him 2014 (Movie)

Julian Rigby (Actor)

Winter's Tale 2014 (Movie)

Isaac Penn (Actor)

Fire In The Blood 2013 (Movie)

(Narrator)

The Host 2013 (Movie)

Jeb (Actor)

Late Bloomers 2012 (Movie)

Adam (Actor)

Maddened By His Absence 2012 (Movie)

(Actor)

Moby Dick 2010 - 2011 (TV Show)

Actor

Robin Hood 2010 (Movie)

William Marshal (Actor)

Damages 2008 - 2009 (Tv Show)

Actor

Noise 2008 (Movie)

Mayor Rheinhardt Schneer (Actor)

The Incredible Hulk 2008 (Movie)

General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross (Actor)

The Yellow Handkerchief 2008 (Movie)

Brett Hanson (Actor)

Vantage Point 2008 (Movie)

President Ashton (Actor)

Into the Wild 2007 (Movie)

Walt McCandless (Actor)

Mr. Brooks 2007 (Movie)

Marshall (Actor)

The Countess 2007 (Movie)

Gyorgy Thurzo (Actor)

The River Why 2007 (Movie)

H2O (Actor)

The Blue Butterfly 2006 (Movie)

Alan Osborne (Actor)

The Good Shepherd 2006 (Movie)

Philip Allen (Actor)

The King 2006 (Movie)

Pastor David Sandow (Actor)

A History of Violence 2005 (Movie)

Richie Cusack (Actor)

Beautiful Ohio 2005 (Movie)

Simon Messerman (Actor)

Frankenstein 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)

Actor

Neverwas 2005 (Movie)

Dr. Peter Reed (Actor)

Syriana 2005 (Movie)

Stan Goff (Actor)

The Legend of Sasquatch 2005 (Movie)

John Davis (Voice)

The Village 2004 (Movie)

Edward Walker (Actor)

Changing Lanes 2002 (Movie)

The Sponsor (Actor)

Nearest To Heaven 2002 (Movie)

(Actor)

Rare Birds 2002 (Movie)

Dave Purcell (Actor)

The King of Queens 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Tuck Everlasting 2002 (Movie)

Angus Tuck (Actor)

A.I. Artificial Intelligence 2001 (Movie)

Professor Hobby--the Visionary (Actor)

Frank Herbert's Dune 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

The Simian Line 2001 (Movie)

Edward (Actor)

Contaminated Man 2000 (Movie)

David Whitman (Actor)

Do Not Disturb 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Sunshine 2000 (Movie)

Andor Knorr (Actor)

The 4th Floor 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

The 53rd Annual Tony Awards 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

To Speak the Unspeakable: The Message of Elie Wiesel 1999 (Movie)

English Narration (Actor)

Dark City 1998 (Movie)

Inspector Frank Bumstead (Actor)

Do Not Disturb 1998 (Movie)

Walter Richmond (Actor)

Lost in Space 1998 (Movie)

John Robinson (Actor)

Loved 1998 (Movie)

K D Dietrickson (Actor)

One True Thing 1998 (Movie)

George Gulden (Actor)

The Proposition 1998 (Movie)

Arthur Barret (Actor)

A Couch in New York 1997 (Movie)

Henry (Actor)

Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre 1996 (Movie)

Rochester (Actor)

Michael 1996 (Movie)

Frank Quinlan (Actor)

Secrets Shared With a Stranger 1995 (Movie)

The Stranger (Actor)

Smoke 1995 (Movie)

Paul Benjamin (Actor)

A Gala For the President at Ford's Theatre 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Second Best 1994 (Movie)

Graham (Actor)

The Odyssey of John Dos Passos 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Voice

Trial By Jury 1994 (Movie)

Vesey (Actor)

Mr. Wonderful 1993 (Movie)

Tom (Actor)

Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing & Charm School 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Narrator

The Boy Who Drew Cats 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Narrator

The Plague 1992 (Movie)

Dr Bernard Rieux (Actor)

The 45th Annual Tony Awards 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

The Doctor 1991 (Movie)

Jack (Actor)

Until the End of the World 1991 (Movie)

Trevor McPhee/Sam Farber (Actor)

Alice 1990 (Movie)

Doug (Actor)

I Love You to Death 1990 (Movie)

Harlan (Actor)

A Time of Destiny 1988 (Movie)

Martin (Actor)

The Accidental Tourist 1988 (Movie)

Macon Leary (Actor)

Broadcast News 1987 (Movie)

Tom Grunick (Actor)

The 41st Annual Tony Awards 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

The 59th Annual Academy Awards Presentation 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Children of A Lesser God 1986 (Movie)

James Leeds (Actor)

Kiss of the Spider Woman 1985 (Movie)

Molina (Actor)

Gorky Park 1983 (Movie)

Arkady Renko (Actor)

The Big Chill 1983 (Movie)

Nick (Actor)

All the Way Home 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Actor

Body Heat 1981 (Movie)

Ned Racine (Actor)

Eyewitness 1981 (Movie)

Daryll Deever (Actor)

Altered States 1980 (Movie)

Eddie Jessup (Actor)

Endgame (TV Show)

Actor

Frankenstein (Movie)

(Actor)

The Big Brass Ring (TV Show)

Actor

The Flamingo Rising (TV Show)

Actor

The Miracle Maker (TV Show)

Voice

Too Big to Fail (TV Show)

Actor

Varian's War (TV Show)

Actor

Verna: USO Girl (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

The textbook model of the sensitive leading man, Oscar-winning actor William Hurt was a major player in 1980s cinema who was typically cast as a detached intellectual type and easily at his best playing characters who were physically or emotionally damaged. Reputed for his mercurial temperament both on and off the set, Hurt maintained somewhat of a contentious relationship with Hollywood for most of his career, but nonetheless came to attention opposite Kathleen Turner in the steamy "Body Heat" (1981), before standing out in the ensemble cast of Lawrence Kasdan's classic drama "The Big Chill" (1983). Following his breakthrough role as a flamboyantly gay window dresser in "Kiss of the Spider Woman" (1985), Hurt was vaulted to the upper tier of Hollywood leading men. He earned more critical acclaim for "Children of a Lesser God" (1986) and "Broadcast News" (1987) before falling off the radar for a time with supporting roles in less-than-stellar projects like "I Love You to Death" (1990), "Mr. Wonderful" (1993) and "Michael" (1996). Bowing down to Hollywood as the star of the disappointing big screen adaptation of "Lost in Space" (1998), Hurt recovered with a brief, but Oscar-nominated performance in "A History of Violence" (2005). With his wounded portrayal of a scientist grieving the murder of his wife on the second season of "Damages" (FX, 2007-2010) and his portrayal of Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson in "Too Big to Fail" (HBO, 2011), Hurt cemented his reputation as a passionate artist more concerned with creating great roles than churning out "bland pabulum for the masses."

Relationships

Sandrine Bonnaire Actor

Companion
Met 1991 while filming "The Plague" (1992) Also acted together in "Secrets Shared with a Stranger" (1995)

Jeanne Bonnaire-Hurt

Daughter
Born Feb. 1, 1994; mother, Sandrine Bonnaire

Glenn Close Actor

Companion
Co-starred in "The Big Chill" (1983) Had a brief relationship No longer together

Heidi Henderson

Wife
Met while both were undergoing drug and alcohol rehabilitation treatment Married March 5, 1989 Divorced Aug. 1, 1993

Alfred Hurt

Father
Divorced Hurt's mother 1956 Died of liver cancer 1996 at age 86

Mary Beth Hurt Actor

Wife
Married Dec. 2, 1971 Divorced Dec. 9, 1982

Alexander Hurt

Son
Born 1983; mother, Sandra Jennings

Samuel Hurt

Son
Born Aug. 7, 1989; mother, Heidi Henderson

James Hurt

Brother
Born c. 1951

Sandra Jennings

Companion
Formerly with New York City Ballet; met 1981 during summer stock season at Saratoga Springs Split 1984 She filed much-publicized palimony and child custody suit against Hurt 1989 In February 1991, NY Court of Appeals upheld a decision that couple did not have common-law marriage; trial testimony revealed he paid her $64,000 annually

Henry Luce

Step-Father
Son of the founder of Time magazine; married Hurt's mother 1960

Marlee Matlin Actor

Companion
Met while co-starring in "Children of a Lesser God" (1986) Lived together for two years No longer together

Claire McGill

Mother
Worked at Time Inc. after 1956 divorce from Hurt's father; met and married Henry Luce III 1960 Died of pancreatic cancer 1972 at age 47

EDUCATION

Middlesex Prepatory School

Middlesex , Massachusetts

The Juilliard School

New York , New York 1972 - 1975
Attended on scholarship

Tufts University

Medford , Massachusetts 1972

Milestones

2013

Cast opposite Saoirse Ronan in sci-fi romance "The Host," adapted from novel by Stephenie Meyer

2011

Portrayed U.S. Secretary of Treasury Henry Paulson in HBO adaptation of Andrew Ross Sorkin's book "Too Big To Fail"

2010

Cast opposite Russell Crowe in Ridley Scott's adaptation of "Robin Hood"

2009

Joined second season of FX's "Damages" as the new client of attorney Patty Hewes (Glenn Close)

2008

Cast as the U.S. president in the Rashomon-style assassination thriller "Vantage Point"

2008

Cast as Betty Ross' father General Thaddeus 'Thunderbolt' Ross in "The Incredible Hulk"

2007

Played the father of Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch) in Sean Penn's adaptation of non-fiction book "Into the Wild"

2007

Portrayed Kevin Costner's alter-ego in thriller "Mr. Brooks"

2006

Co-starred with Gael García Bernal in "The King," a low-budget American film by British documentary-maker James Marsh

2006

Played a CIA director opposite Matt Damon in Robert De Niro's "The Good Shepherd"

2005

Co-starred with George Clooney and Matt Damon in geopolitical thriller "Syriana"

2005

Starred with Viggo Mortensen and Maria Bello in David Cronenberg's "A History of Violence"

2004

Starred opposite Joaquin Phoenix and Sigourney Weaver in M. Night Shyamalan's "The Village"

2002

Appeared as Samuel L. Jackson's AA sponsor in "Changing Lanes"

2002

Portrayed Angus Tuck in family feature "Tuck Everlasting"

2001

Cast as a scientist in Steven Spielberg's "A.I.: Artificial Intelligence"

2000

Starred as Duke Leto Atreides in Sci Fi Channel miniseries "Frank Herbert's Dune"

2000

Portrayed a Communist flunky in "Sunshine"

1998

Headed cast of feature adaptation of TV series "Lost in Space"

1998

Co-starred with Meryl Streep and Renee Zellweger in "One True Thing"

1996

Played a cynical tabloid reporter in "Michael"

1995

Won praise for his turn in independent film "Smoke"

1992

First film with Sandrine Bonnaire, "The Plague"

1991

First non-U.S. production, Wim Wenders' "Until the End of the World"

1990

Cast in Woody Allen's "Alice" as Mia Farrow's husband

1990

Played supporting role in Kasdan directed "I Love You to Death"

1989

Returned to Circle Rep to play leading role in off-Broadway comedy-drama "Beside Herself"

1988

Reunited with Lawrence Kasdan and Kathleen Turner for "The Accidental Tourist"

1987

Played a shallow TV newscaster in James L. Brooks' "Broadcast News"

1986

Portrayed a teacher at a school for the hearing-impaired in "Children of a Lesser God"

1985

Offered award-winning performance opposite Raúl Juliá in "Kiss of the Spider Woman"

1984

Created the role of Eddie in David Rabe's off-Broadway play "Hurlyburly"; also played role on Broadway

1983

Acted in all-star ensemble drama "The Big Chill"; second collaboration with Kasdan

1981

First film with writer-director Lawrence Kasdan, "Body Heat" co-starring Kathleen Turner

1980

Made feature acting debut in leading role of "Altered States"

1978

TV movie debut "Verna: USO Girl" for PBS "Great Performances"

1977

Became member of off-Broadway Circle Repertory Theatre

1977

Appeared on PBS series "The Best of Families" for Children's Television Workshop

1976

New York stage debut, "Henry V" for New York Shakespeare Festival

1975

Joined Oregon Shakespeare Festival

1972

Briefly spent time on a sheep farm in Australia

Moved to Upper West Side Manhattan with mother and brothers when mother remarried

Bonus Trivia

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In 1988, Hurt became the first recipient of the Spencer Tracy Award presented by UCLA.

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He lived in France for several years in the mid-1990s.

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"You have to create a track record of breaking your own mold, or at least other people's idea of that mold." – Hurt quoted in The New York Times, September 1994

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"[Hurt] was one of the most passionate, intelligent, mad people I've ever met in my life." – "Altered States" (1980) co-star Blair Brown to Premiere magazine, October 1997

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"In his soul [he] is a truly conflicted, turbulent human being. Not in the way lots of actors seek to be, because they find the notion of torment romantic. He is that, plain and simple." – Madeleine Stowe to Movieline, February 1998

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"I've traded a lot of important things, and not just money, for minutes of rehearsal. And I've sat so many times in rehearsal rooms saying, 'Where are my peers?' All too often, I've negotiated for that time and found myself the only person in the room. And that's where you prepare. That's where you exchange ideas. Which is where you get the energy." – Hurt to GQ magazine, July 2006

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"I don't call it fun, I call it work. If it was fun, they wouldn't call it work. I mean, play is play, fun is fun and work is work. They're different. I work hard, even if it's supposed to be fun for someone else, it's work for me." – Hurt to CNN.com, June 16, 2008

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