‘The Elephant Man’ Actor John Hurt Has Died


Oscar-nominated actor John Hurt has died at 77. The Elephant Man and Harry Potter actor known for his gravelly voice and craggy-faced charm appeared as the unfortunate Officer Kane in Ridley Scott’s 1979 film Alien (one of the creatures burst from his chest in the film). Hurt was the star of David Lynch’s 1980 biopic The Elephant Man, which was nominated for an Academy Award. “It took 12 hours to apply the original makeup,” Hurt said of the role. “I thought to myself, ‘They have actually found a way of making me not enjoy a film.’ Christopher Tucker, who devised the makeup, applied it that first day and when he was done, I hobbled into the studio. I was in terror of anybody laughing, because if anybody had giggled or laughed at all, the whole house of cards would have collapsed. But there was an absolute hushed silence.” He won a Golden Globe for his role in 1978’s Midnight Express. The last film released before his death was Jackie, in which he played Father Richard McSorley, who counseled the real-life Kennedy family and performed their daily mass after JFK’s assassination. “I have died in so many spectacular ways,” Hurt told New Zealand’s Stuff last year. “And I remember shooting them all, too. I imagine all those deaths will flash in front of me when I’m on my death bed, faced with the real thing.”