William Hurt dies: ‘Broadcast News’, ‘Body Heat’, the actor was 71 years old

In a long career, William Hurt won three consecutive Oscar nominations for Best Actor, winning for 1985’s “Kiss of the Spider Woman”.

NEW YORK – William Hurt, whose laconic charisma and self-assured subtlety as an actor made him one of the main protagonists of the 1980s in films such as “Broadcast News”, “Body Heat” and “The Big Chill”, has died. he was 71.

Hurt’s son Will said in a statement that Hurt died on Sunday of natural causes. Injured he died peacefully, among family, his son said. The Hollywood Reporter said he died at his home in Portland, Oregon. Deadline first reported Hurt’s death. Hurt was previously diagnosed with prostate cancer that had spread to the bone in 2018.

In a long career, Hurt was nominated four times for an Academy Award, winning “Kiss of the Spider Woman” in 1985. After his breakthrough in the 1980s, Paddy Chayefsky wrote “Altered States” as a psychopathologist studying schizophrenia. and experimenting with sensory deprivation, Hurt quickly emerged as one of the pillars of the 1980s.

In Lawrence Kasdan’s 1981 neo-noir “Body Heat,” Hurt starred opposite Kathleen Turner as a lawyer convicted of murder. In 1983’s “The Big Chill”, again with Kasdan, Hurt played the melancholy Vietnam War veteran Nick Carlton, one of a group of college classmates gathering for his friend’s funeral.

Hurt, whose father worked for the State Department, was born in Washington DC and traveled extensively as a child while attending a boarding school in Massachusetts. His parents divorced when he was young. When Hurt was 10, his mother married Henry Luce III, the son of the founder of Time magazine. Hurt studied acting at Julliard and first appeared on the New York stage with the Circle Repertory Company. After “The Big Chill”, he returned to the stage to star in Broadway’s “Hurlyburly” by David Rabe, for which he was nominated for a Tony.

Shortly afterwards came “Kiss of the Spider Woman”, which won Hurt the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance as a gay prisoner in a repressive South American dictatorship.

“I’m very proud to be an actor,” Hurt said, accepting the award.

In 1986’s “Children of a Lesser God,” it was her co-star Marlee Matlin who won the Oscar for her performance as a schoolteacher for the deaf. Hurt played a speech teacher. For Hurt and Matlin, his romance was off-screen as well, but it wasn’t Hurt’s first experience with his private life finding notoriety.

Hurt first married actress Mary Beth Hurt from 1971 to 1982. While married, he began a relationship with Sandra Jennings, whose pregnancy with his son precipitated Hurt’s divorce from Mary Beth Hurt. Six years later there was a high-profile lawsuit in which Jennings claimed to have been Hurt’s de facto wife under South Carolina law and was therefore entitled to a portion of her earnings. A New York court ruled in favor of Hurt, but the actor continued to have a strained relationship with fame.

“Acting is very intimate and private,” Hurt told The New York Times in 1983. “The art of acting requires as much solitude as the art of writing. Yes, you clash with other people, but you have to learn a trade, a technique. “It ‘s work. There’ s something weird about my actions being taken for granted, as if I needed so much love or so much attention to give up my right to be a private person.”

In his 2009 memoirs, Matlin detailed physical and emotional abuse during their relationship. At the time of its publication, Hurt issued an apology saying, “My own memory is that we both apologized and we both did a lot to heal our lives.”

In those years, Hurt also struggled with drug and alcohol abuse, and attended rehab clinics. He also developed a reputation for not always being an easy partner. The New Yorker called him “notoriously temperamental.” In 1989, Hurt married Heidi Henderson, whom he met in rehab. They had two children together. Hurt also had a daughter with French actress and filmmaker Sandrine Bonnaire, whom he met while directing Albert Camus’ 1992 video “The Plague.”

Among Hurt’s best performances was James L. Brooks ’1987 comedy,“ Broadcast News, ”as a skillful but light-hearted presenter who symbolized the emerging fusion of entertainment and journalism.

Albert Brooks, co-star of Hurt’s “Broadcast News,” was among those who responded to Hurt’s death on Sunday. “It’s very sad to hear this news,” Brooks wrote on Twitter. “Working with him on ‘Broadcast News’ has been amazing. He will be missed.”

After his tumultuous career in the 1980s, Hurt fell into the disgrace of filmmakers in the 1990s, and some reasoned that it was because of his reputation. Hurt, however, continued to defend his approach, telling The Los Angeles Times in 1994 that “I do more by resolving the truth than by pleasing easy expectations and hopes.”

“If a director tells me to make the audience think or feel a certain thing, I’m instantly in rebellion,” Hurt said. “I’m not there to make anyone think or feel anything specific. Says the play. Besides, it’s my sole duty to resolve the truth of the play. I don’t owe anything to anyone, including the director.”

However, Hurt never slowed down, accumulating credits in the 90’s and 00’s: “Alice” by Woody Allen, “Smoke” by Wayne Wong, “Michael” by Nora Ephron, “Jane Eyre” by Franco Zeffirelli.

Hurt, always a clever presence on screen, gradually became a character actor. He received his fourth Oscar nomination for his small but powerful role in David Cronenberg’s 2005 thriller “A History of Violence.”

Hurt continued to work steadily in the years leading up to his death: 10 episodes of “Damages,” a series of Marvel movies, including “Avengers: Endgame,” and “Black Widow,” as military officer Thaddeus Ross; 14 episodes on Amazon’s “Goliath.”

Hurt often suggested that his fabulous career in the 1980s was atypical of what defined him as an actor.

“Success is isolating,” he told The Telegraph in 2004. “The Oscar was certainly isolating. In some ways, it was the opposite of what I intended. I didn’t want to be isolated. of an Oscar, he is what he should be. “I wanted to be an actor, so I was very confused. Sometimes I’m still confused about it.”

William Hurt dies: ‘Broadcast News’, ‘Body Heat’, the actor was 71 years old

Source link William Hurt dies: ‘Broadcast News’, ‘Body Heat’, the actor was 71 years old

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