He infused a hideous outer appearance – there were 27 moving pieces in his face mask; he spent nine hours a day in make-up – with a deeply moving, humane quality. – he was always in demand for voiceover gigs in animated movies: the heroic rabbit leader, Hazel, in Watership Down (1978), Aragorn/Strider in Lord of the Rings (1978) and the Narrator in Lars von Trier’s Dogville (2004). One critic said he could pack a whole emotional universe into the twitch of an eyebrow, a sardonic slackening of the mouth.
With his third wife, Jo Dalton, whom he married in the same year, he had two sons, Nick and Alexander (“Sasha”); they divorced in 1995. This sparked a lifelong interest in medieval pottery, about which little was known at the time.
Hurt single-handedly cornered the market in misfits and outsiders throughout his six-decade career. Wharram Percy saw the first excavation of a medieval peasant house; the first complete excavation of a parish church; and the first recovery of a medieval population from a cemetery. He claimed to have made 150 movies and persisted in playing those he called “the unloved … people like us, the inside-out people, who live their lives as an experiment, not as a formula”. The remains were so important that they are still the subject of study, and they have revolutionised our understanding of medieval peasant life. This was a more relaxed, free-spirited time in the theatre. Find an obituary, get service details, leave condolence messages or send flowers or gifts in memory of a loved one. The remake of Brighton Rock in 2010 was directed by Rowan Joffe rather than Roland Joffe. Here we look at ten of the best, John Hurt, the legend of screen and stage whose prolific and varied career has spanned six decades, has died aged 77, In his staggeringly productive screen career, Hurt’s performances brought depth and texture to everything he was in, from science fiction to Roman epic. Available for everyone, funded by readers, Distinctive-voiced actor was Oscar nominated for Midnight Express and the Elephant Man, as well as being the victim of the notorious ‘chestburster’ in Alien, John Hurt, who died on Friday, was a brilliant and versatile actor who made memorable film appearances over five decades.
As an undergraduate, Hurst co-directed the excavation of Northolt Manor, a moated medieval site in Middlesex. Born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, he was the youngest of three children of a Church of England vicar and mathematician, the Reverend Arnould Herbert Hurt, and his wife, Phyllis (née Massey), an engineer with an enthusiasm for amateur dramatics. Yours sincerely, John Hurt” and received the reply, “Dear Mr Hurt, Thank you for short but tedious letter. Please accept Echovita’s sincere condolences.
There was something about his innocence, open-heartedness and his beautiful speaking voice that made him instantly attractive.
As he aged, his face developed more creases and folds than the old map of the Indies, inviting comparisons with the famous “lived-in” faces of WH Auden and Samuel Beckett, in whose reminiscent Krapp’s Last Tape he gave a definitive solo performance towards the end of his career. For theatregoers of my generation, his pulverising, hysterically funny performance as Malcolm Scrawdyke, leader of the Party of Dynamic Erection at a Yorkshire art college, in David Halliwell’s Little Malcolm and His Struggle Against the Eunuchs, was a totemic performance of the mid-1960s; another was David Warner’s Hamlet, and both actors appeared in the 1974 film version of Little Malcolm. The human remains revealed, intriguingly, that the level of left-handedness at Wharram was, at 16 per cent, twice the modern world average, possibly suggesting a level of "natural" left-handedness in a society without social pressure to favour the right.
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