Oscar-winning actor William Hurt has died at the age of 71. Hurt’s friend Gerry Byrne confirmed to Variety that the actor died of natural causes. Hurt was nominated for four Oscars in his career, winning for 1985’s Kiss of the Spider Woman. He was also nominated for Children of a Lesser God (1986), Broadcast News (1987), and A History of Violence (2005). He also had notable roles in The Big Chill (1983), A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), and Syriana (2005). He also portrayed Thaddeus E. “Thunderbolt” Ross in The Incredible Hulk (2008). He reprised this role in four other MCU films: Captain America: Civil War (2015), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019), and Black Widow (2021).
William Hurt’s Rollercoaster Career
Hurt was born on March 20, 1950, in Washington, DC. As a student at Middlesex School, he was vice president of the Dramatics Club, and he had the lead role in several plays. According to Deadline, he went to Tufts University to study Theology. However, his passion for acting took over, and he joined the drama division at Julliard School. Two of his classmates were Christopher Reeve and Robin Williams. Hurt had award-winning theater roles, and he made his big-screen debut in 1980 as a scientist in Altered States. He also had a well-known role as a lawyer seduced by Kathleen Turner in Body Heat (1981).
While he received much praise and, of course, won an Oscar for much of his work in the 1980s, the 1990s proved to be less fruitful. He had a difficult relationship with his Children of a Lesser God co-star Marlee Matlin, who claimed he was abusive. He also had some poorly-received work, such as a role in the critically-panned Lost in Space (1998). His supporting work in the 2000s and 2010s received much more acclaim, and he is remembered as an actor dedicated to his craft.
The details of Hurt’s death have not been revealed. However, it was announced in 2018 that he was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer that had spread to the bone. Hurt’s death comes one week before what would have been his 72nd birthday.
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