Birthday: January 22, 1940 Birth
Place: Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England, UK Height: 5' 9"
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Considered one of Great Britain's most consistently brilliant players, John Hurt is at his best when playing victims forced to suffer mental, physical, or spiritual anguish. A small man with a slightly sinister countenance and a tenor voice that never completed the transition between early adolescence and manhood, Hurt is generally cast in supporting or leading roles as eccentric characters in offbeat films. The son of a clergyman, Hurt was training to be a painter at St. Martin's School of the Arts when he became enamored with acting and enrolled in London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art instead. He made his theatrical and film debuts in 1962 (The Wild and the Willing). Though he frequently appears on-stage, Hurt, unlike his many colleagues, is primarily a film and television actor. He gave one of his strongest early performances playing Richard Rich in Fred Zinnemann's A Man for All Seasons (1966). His subsequent work remained high quality through the '70s. On television, Hurt made his name in the telemovie The Naked Civil Servant and furthered his growing reputation as the twisted Caligula on the internationally acclaimed BBC miniseries I, Claudius (1976). He received his first Oscar nomination for playing a supporting role in the harrowing Midnight Express and a second nomination for his sensitive portrayal of the horribly deformed John Merrick — but for his voice, Hurt was unrecognizable beneath pounds of latex and makeup. In 1984, Hurt was the definitive Winston Smith in Michael Radford's version of Orwell's 1984. Other memorable roles include a man who finds himself hosting a terrifying critter in Alien (1979), his parody of that role in Mel Brooks' Spaceballs (1987), an Irish idiot in The Field (1990), and in Rob Roy (1995).
He lived with Marie-Lise Volpeliere-Pierrot from 1967-83, when she was killed in a riding accident.
Son of a clergyman.
Trained to become a painter at Grimsby Art School.
Studied at RADA.
He is an Associate of RADA.
He did the film History of the World: Part I (1981) because he had just gotten through doing two seriously dramatic films and said that he wanted to have fun and do a comedy.
Awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2004 Queen Elizabeth II's Birthday Honours List for services to Drama.
Has two sons with Dalton: Nicolas and Alexander.
Has worked with two Boromirs. In Ralph Bakshi's film The Lord of the Rings (1978), he played the voice of "Aragorn", opposite Michael Graham Cox (as "Boromir") who went on to reprise the role for BBC radio. He later appeared in The Field (1990) with Sean Bean, who played the role in Peter Jackson's adaptation.
His mother opened a school at his father's vicarage when he was five.
Is the youngest of three sons.
Father was a vicar in Derbyshire.
Spoofs his role from Alien (1979) in Spaceballs (1987).
26th January 2006, received an honorary Doctorate in Letters from the University of Hull, Yorkshire.
Was not the first choice for the role of "Kane" in Alien (1979). He was brought in on the second day of filming after Jon Finch, the original actor cast for the role, was diagnosed with a severe case of diabetes and taken to hospital.
One of his two brothers became a monk.
As Winston Smith in Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) he portrays a victim of a totalitarian society, with Big Brother as its head. In V for Vendetta (2005), he portrays the "Big Brother"-type leader "Chancellor Sutler".
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