John Vincent Hurt, CBE (born 22 January 1940) is an English actor, known for his leading roles as Joseph Merrick in The Elephant Man, Winston Smith in Nineteen Eighty-Four, Mr. Braddock in The Hit, Stephen Ward in Scandal and Quentin Crisp in The Naked Civil Servant and An Englishman in New York. Recognisable for his distinctive rich voice, he has also enjoyed a successful voice acting career, starring in films such as Watership Down, The Lord of the Rings and Dogville, as well as BBC television series Merlin.
Hurt initially came to prominence for his role as Richard Rich in the 1966 film A Man for All Seasons, and has since appeared in such popular motion pictures as: Alien, Midnight Express, Rob Roy, V for Vendetta, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the Harry Potter film series and the Hellboy film series. Hurt is one of England's best-known, most prolific and sought-after actors, and has had a versatile film career spanning six decades. He is also known for his many Shakespearean roles. Hurt has received multiple awards and honours throughout his career including three BAFTA Awards and a Golden Globe Award, with six and two nominations respectively, as well as two Academy Award nominations. His character's final scene in Alien is consistently cited and voted as one of the most memorable in cinematic history, and was re-enacted by Hurt in science fiction parody film Spaceballs.
Early life Edit
Hurt was born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, when his father was vicar of Shirebrook. He is the son of Phyllis (née Massey), an amateur actress and engineer, and Arnould Herbert Hurt, a mathematician who became an Anglican clergyman. Hurt has an older brother, Br. Anselm (born Michael), a monk based at Glenstal Abbey in Ireland whose books Hurt has contributed to. He also has an adopted sister, Monica. His father was a vicar at St John in Sunderland, but in 1937 he moved his family to Derbyshire, where he became Perpetual Curate of Holy Trinity church. When John was five, his father became the vicar of St Stephens Church at Woodville in South Derbyshire and remained there until 1952. In 1945 the Reverend Mr. Hurt founded 1st Woodville (St Stephens) Scout Group which is still going strong today.
Hurt had a strict upbringing: the family lived opposite a cinema but he was not allowed to visit. He was also not permitted to mix with local children because in his parents' view they were 'too common'.
At the age of eight he was sent to the Anglo-Catholic St Michael's Preparatory School in Otford, Kent, where he eventually developed his passion for acting. He decided he wanted to become an actor, and his first role was that of a girl in a school production The Bluebird (L'Oiseau Bleu) by Maurice Maeterlinck.
His father moved to St Aidan Church in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, and Hurt (then aged 12) became a boarder at Christ's Hospital School (then a grammar school) in Lincoln, because he had failed the entrance exam for admission to his brother's school. Hurt often accompanied his mother to Cleethorpes Repertory Theatre, but his parents disliked his acting ambitions and encouraged him to become an art teacher instead. His headmaster, Mr. Franklin, laughed when Hurt told him he wanted to be an actor, saying "you wouldn't stand a chance in the profession." At the age of 17, Hurt enrolled in Grimsby Art School (now the East Coast School of Art & Design), where he studied art.
In 1959 Hurt won a scholarship allowing him to study for an Art Teachers Diploma (ATD) at Central St. Martins College in Holborn, London. Despite the scholarship, paying for his studies was financially difficult and so he persuaded some of his friends to pose nude and sold the portraits. In 1960 however he won a scholarship to RADA where he trained for two years. He was then cast in small roles on TV.
Hurt's first film was The Wild and the Willing (1962), but his first major role was as Richard Rich in A Man for All Seasons (1966). However, it was his portrayal of Quentin Crisp in the 1975 TV play, The Naked Civil Servant, that gave prominence and earned him the British Academy Television Award for Best Actor. The following year, Hurt played the Roman emperor Caligula in the BBC drama serial, I, Claudius. In 1978, he appeared in Midnight Express, for which he won a Golden Globe, a BAFTA and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (the latter of which he lost to Christopher Walken for his performance in The Deer Hunter). Hurt played Hazel, the heroic rabbit leader of his warren in the film adaptation of Watership Down and later played the major villain, General Woundwort, in the animated television series version.
His roles at the beginning of the 1980s included Kane, the memorable first victim of the title creature in the film Alien (a role which he reprised as a parody in Spaceballs); would-be art school radical Scrawdyke in Little Malcolm; and "John" Merrick in the Joseph Merrick biography The Elephant Man, for which he won a BAFTA and was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Actor. He also had a starring role in Sam Peckinpah's critically panned but hugely successful final film, The Osterman Weekend (1983). Also in 1983 he starred as the Fool opposite Sir Laurence Olivier's King in King Lear. Hurt also appeared as Raskolnikov in the BBC series Crime and Punishment in 1980.
Hurt has taken roles in famous political allegories, first playing the hero in an early production and then the tyrannical villain in a later work. For instance, he played Winston Smith in the 1984 adaptation of the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four and then assumed the role of a Big Brother-esque leader of a fascist Great Britain in the 2006 film V for Vendetta, a movie that drew many parallels to the world of Orwell's 1984.
In 1986, Hurt provided the voiceover for AIDS: Iceberg / Tombstone, a public information film warning of the dangers of AIDS. He had a memorable supporting role as "Bird" O'Donnell in Jim Sheridan's 1990 film The Field, which garnered him another BAFTA nomination. In 2001, he played Mr. Ollivander, the wand-maker, in the first Harry Potter film Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. He returned for the adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. His scenes in that film were cut. He will also return for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.In 1999, Hurt provided narration on the British musical group Art of Noise's concept album The Seduction of Claude Debussy. He was made a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in June 2004. In May 2008, he appeared in Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull as Harold Oxley. He is also the voice of The Great Dragon, in the BBC television series, Merlin.
In June 2009, Hurt played the on-screen Big Brother for Paper Zoo Theatre Company's production of Orwell's Nineteen-Eighty Four. The theatre production premiered at the National Media Museum, in Bradford and will be touring during early 2010. Hurt said, "I think Paper Zoo thought it would be quite ironic to have the person who played Winston having risen in the party. From the Chestnut Tree Cafe, he's managed to get his wits together again, now understanding that 2 and 2 make 5, and becomes Big Brother. So it tickled my fancy, and of course I looked up Paper Zoo, and they seem to me to be the sort of company that’s essential in the country as we know it, and doing a lot of really good stuff."
Hurt is returning to his role of Ollivander, the wand-maker, in the last two Harry Potter films.
Personal life Edit
In 1962 Arnould Hurt left his parish in Cleethorpes to become headmaster of St Michaels College in the Central American country of Belize. In that same year Hurt first performed on the London stage, and also married actress Annette Robertson: the marriage ended in 1964. In 1967 he began his longest relationship, with the French model Marie-Lise Volpeliere-Pierrot, the sister of fashion photographer Jean-Claude Volpeliere-Pierrot, whose son Ben would later become a teen idol singing in the pop band Curiosity Killed the Cat.
Hurt's relationship with Marie-Lise was intense and went beyond a casual affair. The couple had planned to get married after fifteen years, when things evolved tragically on 26 January 1983: Hurt and Volpeliere-Pierrot went horse riding early in the morning near their house in Ascott-under-Wychwood, Oxfordshire, when suddenly Volpeliere-Pierrot lost her stirrup and was thrown off the horse, landing on her head in the middle of the lane. She went into a coma and died later that day.
Hurt got married for the second time on 6 September 1984 to Texan actress and old friend Donna Peacock at a local Registrar's office. The couple moved to Kenya and tried unsuccessfully to have children through IVF. They divorced in early January 1990. Soon afterwards (on 24 January 1990) Hurt married American production assistant Jo Dalton whom he had met while filming Scandal. With her he had two sons: Sasha John Vincent Hurt (born 6 February 1990) and Nick Hurt (born 5 February 1993), who are currently residing in Waterford, Ireland. His son Nick has gone to acting school in England and wishes to follow in his father's footsteps. This marriage ended in 1996. At one point Hurt was involved with Sarah Owen, twenty years his junior, and with whom he lived in County Wicklow, Ireland. In March 2005, Hurt married his fourth wife, advertising film producer Anwen Rees Meyers.
Hurt's mother died in 1975, and his father died in 1999 at the age of 95.
In 2007, Hurt took part in the BBC genealogical television series Who Do You Think You Are?, which investigated part of his family history. Prior to participating in the programme, Hurt had harboured a love of Ireland and was enamoured of a 'deeply beguiling' family legend that suggested his great-grandmother had been the illegitimate daughter of Irish nobleman the Marquess of Sligo. However the genealogical evidence uncovered seemed to contradict the family legend, rendering the 'suggestion' doubtful. Coincidentally, the search revealed that his great-grandmother had previously lived in Grimsby at a location within a mile of the art college Hurt had once enrolled at. He is distantly related to author Enid Blyton on his father's side.
Since 2009, John Hurt is the patron of QUAD (a centre for art and film in Derby). On 25 September 2009 Hurt visited QUAD and took part in a Q&A directly preceding a screening of the film 'The Night Train' as part of the celebrations celebrating the 1st Birthday at QUAD (opened on 26 September 2008). The day after, 26 September, John Hurt was guest of honour at Derby County vs Bristol City and went on the pitch at Pride Park at half time to oversee a prize draw.
|1962||The Wild and the Willing||Phil|
|1963||This Is My Street||Charlie|
|1966||A Man for All Seasons||Richard Rich|
|1967||The Sailor from Gibraltar||John|
|1969||In Search of Gregory||Daniel|
|Sinful Davey||Davey Haggart|
|Before Winter Comes||Lieutenant Pilkington|
|1971||Mr. Forbush and the Penguins||Richard Forbush|
|10 Rillington Place||Timothy John Evans||Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role|
|1972||The Pied Piper||Franz|
|1974||Little Malcolm||Malcolm Scrawdyke|
|1975||The Ghoul||Tom Rawlings|
|Linea del fiume, La||Chandler|
|1977||East of Elephant Rock||Nash|
|Three Dangerous Ladies||Lt. Simmonds|
|1978||Watership Down||Hazel||Voice role|
|The Shout||Anthony Fielding|
|Midnight Express||Max|| Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture|
BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
|The Lord of the Rings||Aragorn||Voice role|
|1979||Alien||Kane||Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role|
|1980||The Elephant Man||John Merrick|| BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role|
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
|Heaven's Gate||Billy Irvine|
|1981||Night Crossing||Peter Strelzyk|
|History of the World, Part I||Jesus Christ|
|The Plague Dogs||Snitter||Voice|
|1983||The Osterman Weekend||Lawrence Fassett|
|Success Is the Best Revenge||Dino Montecurva|
|Nineteen Eighty-Four||Winston Smith|
|1985||After Darkness||Peter Hunningford|
|The Black Cauldron||The Horned King||Voice|
|1987||The Hunting of the Snark||Narrator||Voice|
|From the Hip||Douglas Benoit|
|Aria||The Actor||Segment "I pagliacci"|
|White Mischief||Gilbert Colvile|
|1988||The Bengali Night||Lucien Metz|
|Little Sweetheart||Robert Burger|
|1990||Romeo-Juliet|| La Dame aux Chats|
|The Field||Bird O'Donnell||Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role|
|Frankenstein Unbound|| Dr. Joe Buchanan|
|1991||I Dreamt I Woke Up||John Boorman's Alter Ego|
|King Ralph||Lord Percival Graves|
|1992||Lapse of Memory||Conrad Farmer|
|L'Oeil qui ment|| Anthony|
|Even Cowgirls Get the Blues||The Countess|
|1994||Rabbit Ears: Aladdin and the Magic Lamp||Storyteller||Direct-to-video release|
|Second Best||Uncle Turpin|
|1995||Two Nudes Bathing||Marquis de Prey|
|Saigon Baby||Jack Lee|
|Rob Roy||John Graham, Marquis of Montrose|
|Dead Man||John Scholfield|
|Wild Bill||Charley Prince|
|1997||Tender Loving Care||Dr. Turner||Interactive CD-ROM film|
|Love and Death on Long Island||Giles De'Ath|
|1998||The Commissioner||James Morton|
|Night Train||Michael Poole|
|All the Little Animals||Mr. Summers|
|1999||The Climb||Chuck Langer|
|New Blood||Alan White|
|A Monkey's Tale||Sebastian||English dub of French film Le Château des singes|
|If... Dog... Rabbit...||Sean Cooper|
|2000||The Tigger Movie||Narrator||Voice|
|Lost Souls||Father Lareaux|
|Captain Corelli's Mandolin||Dr. Iannis|
|Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone||Mr. Ollivander|
|Crime and Punishment||Porfiry|
|2003||Owning Mahowny||Victor Foss|
|Meeting Che Guevara & the Man from Maybury Hill||Man from Maybury Hill|
|2004||Hellboy||Professor Trevor "Broom" Bruttenholm|
|The Proposition||Jellon Lamb||Nominated — Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role|
|The Skeleton Key||Ben Devereaux|
|2006||V for Vendetta||Adam Sutler|
|Perfume: The Story of a Murderer||Narrator||Voice|
|2007||Boxes||Le père de Fanny|
|2008||The Oxford Murders||Arthur Seldom|
|Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull||Professor Harold Oxley|
|Hellboy II: The Golden Army||Professor Trevor 'Broom' Bruttenholm||Cameo|
|Lecture 21||Mondrian Kilroy|
|The Limits of Control||Guitar|
|New York, I Love You||Waiter|
|An Englishman in New York||Quentin Crisp (2009)|
|44 Inch Chest||Old Man Peanut||Nominated - London Film Critics' Circle Award for Best British Supporting Actor|
|Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I||Mr. Ollivander||Post-Production|
|2011||Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II||Mr. Ollivander||Filming|
|1961||Drama 61-67||Private Briggs||Episode 1.16: "Drama '61: Local Incident"|
|1962||Z-Cars||James Hogan||Episode 1.29: "Assault"|
|1963||First Night||Garry||Episode 1.12: "Menace"|
|1964||Armchair Theatre||Unknown||Episode 4.102: "A Jug of Bread"|
|Thursday Theatre||Orpheus||Episode 1.11: "Point of Departure"|
|1964–1965||ITV Play of the Week||Various characters||Appeared in three episodes|
|1965||Gideon's Way||Freddy Tinsdale||Episode 1.14: "The Tin God"|
|1973||Wessex Tales||Joshua Harlborough||Episode 1.3: "A Tragedy of Two Ambitions"|
|1974||The Playboy of the Western World||Christopher "Christy" Mahon||TV film|
|1975||The Naked Civil Servant||Quentin Crisp|| TV film|
British Academy Television Award for Best Actor
|1976||Shades of Greene||Fred||Episode 2.6: "A Drive in the Country"|
|Play for Today||Alec Cassell||Episode 6.22: "The Peddler"|
|The Sweeney||Tony Grey||Episode 3.4: "Tomorrow Man"|
|I, Claudius||Caligula||TV mini-series|
|1977||Spectre||Mitri Cyon||TV film|
|1979||Crime and Punishment||Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov||TV mini-series|
|1983||King Lear||The Fool||TV film|
|1988||Deadline||Granville Jones||TV film|
|The Storyteller||The Storyteller||Appeared in all nine first series episodes|
|1990||The Investigation: Inside a Terrorist Bombing||Chris Mullin||TV film|
|1991||Journey to Knock||Alfred||TV film|
|Red Fox||Archie Carpenter||TV mini-series|
|1992||Six Characters in Search of an Author||The Father||TV film|
|1993||Great Moments in Aviation||Rex Goodyear||TV film|
|1995||Prisoners in Time||Eric Lomax||TV film|
|1998||Saturday Night Live||March Hare||Episode 23.17|
|1999–2000||Watership Down'||General Woundwort||Multiple episodes; voice|
|2001||Beckett on Film - Krapp's Last Tape||Krapp||TV film|
|2002||Bait||Jack Blake||TV film|
|2004||The Alan Clark Diaries||Alan Clark||TV serial|
|Pride||Harry||TV film; voice|
|2007||Hellboy: Blood and Iron||Professor Trevor 'Broom' Bruttenholm||TV film; voice|
|Masters of Science Fiction||Samswope||Episode 1.4: "The Discarded"|
|2008||Recount||Warren Christopher||TV film|
|2008–2009||Merlin (Seasons 1 & 2)||The Great Dragon||Voice; appeared in 9 episodes; credited for 15|
|2009||Gruffalo||The Owl||TV film (Children's), voice|
|2009||The Paul O'Grady Show||Himself||Penultimate episode|
|2009||An Englishman in New York (film)||Quentin Crisp|| TV film|
Video games Edit
- Privateer 2: The Darkening (1996) - Joe the Bartender
- Tender Loving Care (1998) - Dr. Turner
Other projects, contributions Edit
- When Love Speaks (2002, EMI Classics) - "Sonnet 145"
("Those lips that Love's own hand did make")
- Hurt performs in drag for the promotional video for Attitude by the music group Suede.
- Hurt is seen as the 'Brian Epstein' esque mogul in Paul McCartney's 1982 video for the song 'Take It Away'. McCartney explains in the video commentary section of The McCartney Years DVD (for the song 'Take it Away') that Hurt himself was a friend of The Beatles and Brian Epstein, and that The Beatles had watched Hurt act in the mid-60's and thought him a fine actor.
- ↑ "John Hurt - Biography". Talk Talk. Retrieved on 2010-01-26.
- ↑ John Hurt - Biography
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 John Hurt Biography (1940-)
- ↑ John Hurt awards at IMDB
- ↑ Template:Cite episode
- ↑ Kermode, Mark. "All fright on the night". The Guardian. Retrieved on 2010-02-01.
- ↑ "Scariest movie scenes ever". Virgin Media. Retrieved on 2010-01-18.
- ↑ Green, Graeme. "John Hurt talks Harry Potter, flamenco and chestbursters". Metro. Retrieved on 2010-01-18.
- ↑ "The making of Alien's chestburster scene". The Guardian. Retrieved on 2010-01-18.
- ↑ BBC Radio Derby
- ↑ Br. Alselm's cookbook
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 The Guardian Interview: John Hurt
- ↑ "IESB First Look: Indy IV Looks Back at the Original Trilogy" (Video), IESB, 1 May 2008. Retrieved on 1 May 2008.
- ↑ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1199099/epcast
- ↑ BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Actor Hurt to reprise Crisp role
- ↑ http://www.nationalmediamuseum.org.uk/1984/interview.asp
- ↑ Who Do You Think You Are? BBC Magazine - About the series
- ↑ http://projectharar.co.uk/john_hurt.html
- Template:Screenonline name
- Actor's Compendium
- Biography on BBC site
- Receiving his honorary degree from Hull University in January 2006
- March 2006 Observer article
- Project Harar
- John Hurt lights a candle for Rwanda