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John Hurt, ‘Alien’ and ‘The Elephant Man’ Star, Dies At 77

The Golden Globe-winning actor's other roles included "Midnight Express" and "Snowpiercer."

John Hurt at "The Revenant" Premiere, January 2016

John Hurt at “The Revenant” Premiere, January 2016

Will Oliver/Epa/REX/Shutterstock

Sir John Hurt, one of the elder statesmen of great British actors, has passed away. He was 77.

Hurt’s first major breakout film role was as Richard Rich in “A Man for All Seasons” in 1966, and was a captivating on-screen presence in a rich array of roles. He won a Golden Globe for his supporting work in 1978’s “Midnight Express,” playing a prisoner addicted to heroin, and starred as David Lynch’s iconic “Elephant Man” (nominated for an Oscar and winning a BAFTA for his work in the 1980 black-and-white drama).

He was also beloved by genre fans for his unforgettable work in 1978’s “Alien,” which led to a cameo parodying the most famous scene of Ridley Scott’s sci-fi horror film for Mel Brooks in “Spaceballs.”

In addition, he played supporting roles in the “Harry Potter” films, “Hellboy,” “Snowpiercer” and many many more. Notably, he was cast as the War Doctor in the “Doctor Who” 50th anniversary special, “The Day of the Doctor,” as well as other “Who” projects.

Hurt received his knighthood in 2015, shortly after announcing that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer — it is unknown at this time if his death was connected with that struggle. He leaves behind a filmography rich with iconic roles, brave choices and beautiful work.

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