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William Hurt, Oscar Winner for ‘Kiss of the Spider Woman,’ Dead at 71

"He died peacefully, among family, of natural causes," a statement from the Oscar winner's son read.

William Hurt, a cast member in the Amazon series "Goliath," poses for a portrait during the 2016 Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour at the Beverly Hilton on Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Rich Fury/Invision/AP)

William Hurt at the 2016 TCAs

Rich Fury/Invision/AP

William Hurt, one of the most esteemed actors of the 1980s with success in film, television, and theatre, has died at the age of 71.

Hurt was born in 1950 and grew up in Washington D.C. before studying acting at the Juilliard School alongside classmates Robin Williams and Christopher Reeve.  He made his feature film debut in 1980’s “Altered States,” earning a Golden Globe nomination for Best New Star. His Hollywood career got off to a rapid start, as 1981’s “Body Heat,” Lawrence Kasdan’s noir in which he plays the easily duped lover of Kathleen Turner’s femme fatale, was a massive hit. He then earned three consecutive Oscar nominations for “Kiss of the Spider Woman” (for which he won Best Actor), “Children of a Lesser God,” and “Broadcast News.”

Throughout his four decade career, Hurt was able to straddle the line between serious acting and blockbuster filmmaking. In addition to roles in prestigious films like “Broadcast News” and “A History of Violence,” Hurt also starred in Steven Spielberg’s “A.I.: Artificial Intelligence” and enjoyed a decade-long run playing General Thaddeus Ross in five Marvel Cinematic Universe films, most recently in “Black Widow.” He also maintained a successful stage acting career, with a particular interest in Shakespeare roles.

His most recent work includes an acclaimed stint on the Amazon series “Goliath,” appearing in 14 episodes as Donald Cooperman.

A statement from the actor’s son Will reads: “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, one week before his 72nd birthday. He died peacefully, among family, of natural causes. The family requests privacy at this time.”

More to come.

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