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John Hurt, Versatile Star Of The ‘Elephant Man,’ ‘Alien’ And ‘Harry Potter,’ Dies At 77

By Johny Smith on Jan 29, 2017 10:11 AM EST

English actor Sir John Hurt has died at age 77 on Jan 27. Highly decorated thespian, famous for roles in "The Elephant Man" and "Alien," died after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

John Hurt's career stretched from the early 1960s to last year's JFK drama "Jackie," He was nominated for two Academy Awards for his turns as John Merrick in "Elephant Man" and Max in "Midnight Express," winning a Golden Globe for the latter.

When he was still combating the disease, Hurt said, "We're all just passing time, and occupy our chair very briefly." The exact circumstances of his death were not immediately clear, and Hurt told a crowd at the 2015 Man Booker Prize ceremony that he had been cleared of his cancer says Daily Mail.

That interview also saw John Hurt reminisce about his decadent younger years, drinking with other famous 20th century British creatives such as Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, and Peter O'Toole. "Society is much more homogenized, and we're all supposed to conform," he said. "People are censorious but the pendulum will swing back, as it always does."

John Hurt's acclaim continued to land him roles in his later years, joining other British cinematic royalty in the Harry Potter films, where he played wand master Ollivander.

In addition to his American awards, Hurt also received a host of British honors, including four BAFTAs. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 2015. Despite a career of serious parts such as Caligula in "I, Claudius," Hurt also had a lighter touch. He spoofs his "Alien" role in Mel Brooks' "Spaceballs" and performing voice-over work for children's cartoons.

As tributes to the actor poured in online Friday evening, many also remembered him fondly for the roles he played in "nerd" culture, including Harry Potter, "Alien," the title role in "Doctor Who," villain Adam Sutler in "V for Vendetta" and Professor Broom in "Hellboy" says CNN.

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TagsJohn Hurt, Elephant man, Harry potter

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