British actor John Hurt, who was seen in popular films like “Alien”, “The Elephant Man”, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”, died at the age of 77 at his home at Cromer in Norfolk, on Jan 25. However, the news of his death was announced on Jan 27.
John Hurt’s wife Anwen Rees-Myers in a statement to media said: “It is with deep sadness that I have to confirm that my husband, John Vincent Hurt, died on Wednesday 25th January 2017 at home in Norfolk.John was the most sublime of actors and the most gentlemanly of gentlemen with the greatest of hearts and the most generosity of spirit.
“He touched all our lives with joy and magic and it will be a strange world without him.I ask that we are allowed to come to terms with our loss without further intrusion.”
Here are 10 quick facts that you need to know about John Hurt:
1. John Vincent Hurt was born on Jan 22 Jan, 1940 in Chesterfield, Derbyshire to mathematician-turned-vicar Arnould Herbert Hurt and amateur actress-cum-engineer Phyllis.
2. He had a strict childhood where his parents neither allowed him to visit the cinema near their house nor catch up with local children.
3. It was when he was 8 that John Hurt was sent to St Michael’s Preparatory School in Otford, Kent, where he realized his passion for acting.
His first role was that of a girl in his school play of The Blue Bird (L’Oiseau bleu) by Belgian playwright Maurice Maeterlinck.
4. John Hurt’s parents were against his decision of taking up acting as a career and rather wanted him to be an art teacher.
5. He went to Grimsby Art School at the age of 17. Despite getting a scholarship to pursue an Art Teacher’s Diploma (ATD) at Saint Martin’s School of Art in London in 1959, he found it difficult to pay for his tuition fees and living expenses.
It was then he started painting nude portraits of his friends and sell them.
6. John Hurt’s debut film was “The Wild and the Willing” (1962). However, he rose to fame with his role of Richard Rich in A Man for All Seasons (1966).
7. He played wand-maker Garrick Ollivander in “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” and returned as the same character in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”.
8. He married four times. His first marriage was with actress Annette Robertson in 1962. In 1984, he married his old friend, American actress Donna Peacock.
In 1990, he got hooked with American production assistant Joan Dalton. In 2005, he married a fourth time. This time it was advertising film producer Anwen Rees-Meyers.
9. John Hurt quit smoking and alcohol after his fourth marriage.
10. He was diagnosed with early-stage pancreatic cancer in 2015.