‘Body Heat,’ ‘Broadcast News’ Actor Was 71

William Hurt, the exact Oscar winner who dominated a decade as some other actors did with his turn in the 1980s classics Hypothermia, Spider woman’s kiss, Children are children of God and Broadcast News, has died. He was 71 years old.

Hurt died Sunday morning at his home in Portland, Oregon, one of his three sons, Will, recounted. The Hollywood Reporter. He did not disclose the cause of death.

Trained on stage, Hurt made his big screen debut as an obsessed psychiatrist who experimented with sensory deficits and floating pools in the eerie Paddy Chayefsky film. write a script Bang change (1980), directed by Ken Russell.

A year later, he got his breakthrough when his cranky lawyer character became the son of a manipulative rich woman (Kathleen Turner) who murdered her husband in the horror film. strange noir Hypothermia, led by Lawrence Kasdan in his directorial debut. (Christopher Reeve, his former classmate at the Juilliard School, turned down his role.)

Next, Hurt featured in the stellar cast as a mentally damaged Vietnam War veteran in the film. Shivering cold (1983), also directed by Kasdan. (Both will reteam twice for 1988 Accidental tourists and the 1990s I love you to death.)

Hurt received critical acclaim with an Oscar for his portrayal of Luis Molina, a transgender window-dresser locked in a South American cell with a civilian fighter. army (Raul Julia), in Spider woman’s kiss (1985), an art house sensation directed by Héctor Babenco.

“We have to say something not only about gay rights but also about feminine and masculine relationships, the nature of courage, and what it means to tell the truth to a power greater than you. a lot,” Hurt said in 2015. “We didn’t ‘don’t make any money while we were spinning, so there was no problem getting the gratuitous bonus. This is just a glorious opportunity to do the right thing. “

Hurt was again nominated for Best Actor in the next two years for his role as James Leeds, a teacher at a school for the deaf, in Randa Haines’ Children are children of God (1986) and as the mysterious and sly anchorman Tom Grunick engages in a love triangle in Broadcast Newsdirected by James L. Brooks.

A re-emerging Hurt received his fourth Academy Award nomination, this one for a supporting actor, for his performance as a sinister gang boss in David Cronenberg. History of violence (2005).

Hurt has a reputation for being “difficult to work with”.

Kasdan said in a 1989 interview with washington articles. “Bill has absolute unshakable integrity in his work. He can’t do something fake. When your instincts are very strong for what is true, that is a very strong thing to have. For an actor, that’s everything.”

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“For most of his roles he brings a sense of normalcy, the feeling that this is simply someone who just happened to find himself in this place at this point,” writes Roger Ebert of the actor. 1988. “It’s almost as if the bland exterior in the opening scenes is what sets off the emotional explosions that follow, especially in films like Bang change and Hypothermia. “When Hurt passed the summit, he seemed to have started from a quieter place, and so he seemed to have come a longer distance than Mickey Rourke or Robert De Niro. Only Jack Nicholson equals him to a degree that seems completely normal. “

The thoughtful actor also appeared as soldier Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross in the Marvel movies The Incredible Hulk (2008), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019) and Black Widow (In 2021).

William McChord Hurt was born in Washington, DC on March 20, 1950. His father, Alfred, worked for the Department of State’s Agency for International Development, and the boy spent his early years in Guam and Hawaii.

After his parents divorced when he was 6 years old, his mother, Claire, took him and his two brothers to Manhattan. She took a job at Time Inc. and in 1960 married Henry Luce III, son of the founder of a giant publishing group.

Hurt first acted in a play at Middlesex Private School in Concord, Massachusetts. After studying theology at Tufts University, he spent a year as a theater student in England with his then-wife, actress Mary Beth Hurt, before being accepted into New York’s Juilliard, where he studied. acting for three years with the likes of Reeve, Robin. Williams and Mandy Patinkin.

He set off in 1975 to portray Edmund in a production of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival The journey of the day is long into the night.

Back in New York, Hurt joined the Circle Repertory Company, won an Obie Award and starred in plays including Hamlet, Childe Byron, Richard II and My life. And in 1977, he made his screen debut in a two-part episode of Kojak.

Hurt received the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival for Spider woman’s kiss, and the film grossed $17 million, a huge amount for an independent artist at the time. (The film took years to hit theaters, and Burt Lancaster was originally intended to play Luis.)

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Winning an Academy Award was “very isolated,” Hurt told LA time in 1994. “As soon as they gave it to me, I thought, ‘God, what do I do now? How do I walk into a room and have any other actors trust me? ‘”

Only Hurt, Paul Muni, Spencer Tracy, Gregory Peck, Marlon Brando, Richard Burton, Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson and Russell Crowe have been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor three years in a row.

“Acting is the tip of the iceberg,” Hurt said. “You have to build what is not seen and then play the trick. One can only see a little bit of the iceberg, but it’s huge. That’s sometimes hard to do in American movies, where the philosophy is to show the iceberg.”

He went on to play Professor John Robinson in the feature version of Lost in space (1998), creator of a robotic child (Haley Joel Osment) in Steven Spielberg’s Artificial Intelligence AI (2001), the ravaged father of wanderer Emile Hirsch in Into the wild (2007) and the president of the United States in Vantage Point (2008).

His acting resume also includes Witness (1981), Smoke (1995), Dark City (1998), A Time of Destiny (1988), Doctor (1991), Second best (1994), by Franco Zeffirelli Jane Eyre (1996), Large brass ring (1999), M. Night Shyamalan’s The village (2004), Syriana (2005), Robin Hood hero (2010), Server (2013) and winter’s Tale (2014).

In 1984, Hurt found time to return to the stage to star in the off-Broadway and Broadway production hit David Rabe-Mike Nichols Hurryget a nom Tony in the process.

He received an Emmy Award nomination in 2009 for playing whistleblower scientist Daniel Purcell in the second season of FX’s. Damagesthen received another award two years later for playing Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson in Curtis Hanson’s HBO feature film. Too big to fail.

Hurt is set to portray Gregg Allman in the ill-fated Midnight driver but bowed after the death on set of camerawoman Sarah Jones. (The movie was never made.) He has also appeared recently on TV series such as Human, Goliath and Condors.

Hurt was married to Mary Beth Hurt from 1971 until their divorce in 1982. He had one child with ballet dancer Sandra Jennings, with whom he later joined in a burgundy suit. bitter, and another child with French actress Sandrine Bonnaire.

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He also has two children with second wife Heidi Henderson, daughter of band leader Skitch Henderson (they met while both in rehab), and is romantically involved with him. God less co-star Marlee Matlin.

(It was Hurt who opened the envelope on stage to announce that it was his girlfriend who won the Academy Award for best actress for her work in the film.)

But a few years later, in a 2009 interview with Access Hollywood In an advertisement for her memoir, Matlin said she was physically abused by Hurt during their relationship. In response, Hurt told E! News that “we both apologized and both did a lot to mend our lives. Of course, I did and apologize for any pain I caused.”

Survivors include his sons Will, Samuel and Alexander; daughter Jeanne; grandchildren Theo, Claire and Desmond; and brothers James and Ken.

His family said in a statement: “The world knows him as an incredible artistic force, a vessel for many of his characters, a shaper with a resilient willingness to find truth in the story, a desire to unearth what has been forgotten in our humanity, and a passion for the ways in which art can validate our lived experiences. The world knows him as a deep dive artist and who will be celebrated and remembered for his talent and perseverance. His descendants will remember him for his fiery curiosity, his storytelling, his playfulness, his wildness, his unmatched sense of light and dark, and his love of the sea. his “.

Make no mistake, Hurt was dedicated to his craft. “I never explain my movies – it just spoils the emotions,” he told parcel. “I love saying that. There’s a point to explaining what I do, but at some point you just have to do it. The job is the best that I have to offer. That’s what I want to be eloquent about.”

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William Hurt as Luis Molina in 1985 Spider woman’s kiss

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