American actor William Hurt dies aged 71

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Los Angeles (AFP) – American actor William Hurt, known for his acclaimed films such as ‘The Big Chill’ and ‘A History of Violence’, has died at the age of 71, US media reported on Sunday.

Multiple outlets quoted Hurt’s son, Will, as saying in a statement: “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, a week before his 72nd birthday. . He passed away peacefully, with family, of natural causes.”

The actor was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer in May 2018, but his son’s statement didn’t say whether the disease contributed to Hurt’s death.

Hurt built his reputation on his willingness to play quirky and unusual characters such as a Russian policeman in ‘Gorky Park’ (1983), an aloof wealthy husband in Woody Allen’s ‘Alice’ (1990) and a man seeking build a machine. who would benefit the blind in “Until the End of the World” (1991).

His first film role was as an obsessed scientist in Ken Russell’s 1980 film “Altered States.” Appearing alongside Kathleen Turner in 1981’s Body Heat turned him into a sex symbol, and he won the ‘Best Actor Oscar in 1985 for playing a gay prisoner in ‘Kiss of the Spider Woman’.

Hurt was also nominated for an Oscar as a teacher of deaf students in “Children of a Lesser God” (1986) and as a slow-witted television presenter in “Broadcast News” (1987).

For his second Oscar, Hurt played a Philadelphia mobster in David Cronenberg’s “A History of Violence.” He only appears in the film for about 10 minutes, but he had a huge impact on critics, who praised his “scary” and “funny” character.

In recent years, Hurt has become known to young moviegoers thanks to his turn in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Thaddeus Ross, a swaggering general who was present the day Bruce Banner became the Hulk.

In addition to “The Incredible Hulk,” Hurt’s character has appeared in four Marvel films, including “Captain America: Civil War,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Avengers: Endgame,” and “Black Widow.”

Uncomfortable with fame

Hurt was born on March 20, 1950 in Washington, DC, but since his father was an American diplomat, he traveled extensively as a child.

After her parents divorced, her mother married Henry Luce III, heir to the Time-Life empire, and moved to New York.

Hurt stayed nearby, studying theology at Tufts University before enrolling at the famed Juilliard School of the Arts in New York.

Despite his growing fame, Hurt did not settle in Hollywood but settled in Oregon. In interviews, he had shown that he was uncomfortable with fame.

“I’m not comfortable with any of this. I’m not comfortable walking the red carpet in a tuxedo and seeing all the women with their breasts up and all the men dressed as penguins,” a- he told an interviewer.

Her private life, however, was like something straight out of Hollywood.

Hurt married aspiring actress Mary Beth Supinger after graduating from Tufts and followed her to London to study acting. They divorced upon their return to New York.

In the late 1980s, he was pursued by a former lover, ballet dancer Sandra Jennings, who is the mother of one of his sons.

He had two other sons from another marriage and a daughter, Jeanne, from a relationship with French actress Sandrine Bonnaire.

Hurt was fluent in French and was also an avid private pilot.

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