John Hurt

Sir John Vincent Hurt CBE (22 January 1940 – 25 January 2017) was an English actor whose screen and stage career spanned more than 50 years. Hurt was regarded as one of Britain's finest actors; director David Lynch described him as "simply the greatest actor in the world".[1][2]

Hurt came to prominence for his role as Richard Rich in the film A Man for All Seasons (1966) and gained BAFTA Award nominations for his portrayals of Timothy Evans in 10 Rillington Place (1971) and Quentin Crisp in television film The Naked Civil Servant (1975) – winning his first BAFTA for the latter. He played Caligula in the BBC TV series I, Claudius (1976). Hurt's performance in the prison drama Midnight Express (1978) brought him international renown and earned Golden Globe and BAFTA Awards, along with an Academy Award nomination. His BAFTA-nominated portrayal of astronaut Kane, in science-fiction horror Alien (1979), yielded a scene which has been named by several publications as one of the most memorable in cinematic history.[3]

Hurt earned his third competitive BAFTA, along with his second Oscar and Golden Globe nominations, as Joseph Merrick in David Lynch's biopic The Elephant Man (1980). Other significant roles during the 1980s included Bob Champion in biopic Champions (1984), Mr. Braddock in the Stephen Frears drama The Hit (1984), Winston Smith in Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) and Stephen Ward in the drama depicting the Profumo affair, Scandal (1989). Hurt was again BAFTA-nominated for his work in Irish drama The Field (1990) and played the primary villain, James Graham, in the epic adventure Rob Roy (1995). His later films include the Harry Potter film series (2001–11), the Hellboy films (2004 and 2008), supernatural thriller The Skeleton Key (2005), western The Proposition (2005), political thriller V for Vendetta (2005), sci-fi adventure Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) and the Cold War espionage film Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011). Hurt reprised his role as Quentin Crisp in An Englishman in New York (2009), which brought his seventh BAFTA nomination. He portrayed the War Doctor in BBC TV series Doctor Who in 2013.[4][5]

Hurt possessed what was described as the "most distinctive voice in Britain";[6][7] The Observer likened it to "nicotine sieved through dirty, moonlit gravel".[6] His voice acting career encompassed films such as Watership Down (1978), The Lord of the Rings (1978), The Plague Dogs (1982), The Black Cauldron (1985) and Dogville (2003), as well as BBC TV series Merlin (2008–2012). In 2012, he was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement BAFTA Award, in recognition of his "outstanding contribution to cinema".[8] He was knighted in 2015 for his services to drama.

John Hurt

John Hurt by Walterlan Papetti
Hurt in January 2015
John Vincent Hurt

22 January 1940
Died25 January 2017 (aged 77)
Cromer, Norfolk, England
EducationLincoln School
Alma materRoyal Academy of Dramatic Art
Years active1961–2017
  • Annette Robertson
    (m. 1962; div. 1964)
  • Donna Peacock
    (m. 1984; div. 1990)
  • Joan Dalton
    (m. 1990; div. 1996)
  • Anwen Rees-Myers (m. 2005)

Early life

Hurt was born on 22 January 1940 in Chesterfield, Derbyshire,[9][10] the son of Phyllis (née Massey; 1907–1975), an engineer and one-time actress, and Arnold Herbert Hurt (1904–1999), a mathematician who became a Church of England clergyman and served as vicar of Holy Trinity Church, Shirebrook, Derbyshire.[11][12]

Hurt's father was also Vicar of St John's parish in Sunderland, County Durham. In 1937, he moved his family to Derbyshire, where he became Perpetual Curate of Holy Trinity Church. When Hurt was five, his father became the vicar of St Stephen's Church in Woodville, Derbyshire, and remained there until 1952.

At the age of eight, Hurt was sent to the Anglican St Michael's Preparatory School in Otford, Kent,[13] where he eventually developed his passion for acting. He decided he wanted to become an actor after his first role as a girl in a school production of The Blue Bird by Maurice Maeterlinck. Hurt stated that while he was a pupil at the school he was abused by a senior master who would remove his two false front teeth and put his tongue in the boys' mouths, and would rub their faces with his stubble, and that the experience affected him hugely.[14] Hurt, when aged 12, became a boarder at Lincoln School (then a grammar school) because he had failed the entrance examination for admission to his brother's school. His headmaster at Lincoln School laughed when Hurt told him he wanted to be an actor, telling him "Well, you may be alright in school plays but you wouldn't stand a chance in the profession".[15]

Hurt's father moved to St Aidan's Church in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire. In a Guardian interview Hurt states the family lived in a vicarage opposite a cinema but he was not allowed there to see films, as these were "frowned upon". However, watching theatre was considered "fine" and encouraged particularly by his mother who took him regularly to the repertory theatre in Cleethorpes. His parents disliked his later acting ambitions and encouraged him to become an art teacher instead.[15] Aged 17, Hurt enrolled in Grimsby Art School (now the East Coast School of Art and Design), where he studied art. In 1959, he won a scholarship allowing him to study for an Art Teacher's Diploma at Saint Martin's School of Art in London.[16] Despite the scholarship, paying his tuition fees and living expenses was difficult, so he persuaded some of his friends to pose naked and sold the portraits. In 1960, he won a scholarship to RADA, where he trained for two years.[14]


Hurt's first film was The Wild and the Willing (1962), but his first major role was as Richard Rich in A Man for All Seasons (1966).[17] He played Timothy Evans, who was hanged for murders committed by his landlord John Christie, in 10 Rillington Place (1971), earning him his first BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actor. His portrayal of Quentin Crisp in the TV play The Naked Civil Servant (1975) gave him prominence and earned him the British Academy Television Award for Best Actor.[17]

The following year, Hurt won further acclaim for his bravura performance as the Roman emperor Caligula in the BBC drama serial, I, Claudius. In a much later documentary about the series, I Claudius: A Television Epic (2002), Hurt revealed that he had originally declined the role when it was first offered to him, but that series director Herbert Wise had invited him to a special pre-production party, hoping Hurt would change his mind, and that he was so impressed by meeting the rest of the cast and crew that he reversed his decision and took the role.[18]

Hurt appeared in the 1978 Midnight Express, for which he won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (the latter of which he lost to Christopher Walken for his performance in The Deer Hunter).[18] Around the same time, he lent his voice to Ralph Bakshi's animated film adaptation of Lord of the Rings, playing the role of Aragorn. Hurt voiced Hazel, the heroic rabbit leader of his warren in the film adaptation of Watership Down (both 1978) and later played the major villain, General Woundwort, in the animated television series version.[19] As the deformed Joseph Merrick in The Elephant Man (1980), he won another BAFTA and was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Actor.[17]

His other roles in the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s included Kane, the first victim of the title creature in the film Alien (1979, a role which he reprised as a parody in Spaceballs); would-be art school radical Scrawdyke in Little Malcolm (1974); and also had a starring role in Sam Peckinpah's critically panned but moderately successful final film, The Osterman Weekend (1983). Also in this period, he starred as the Fool opposite Laurence Olivier's King in King Lear (1983). Hurt also appeared as Raskolnikov in a BBC television adaptation of Crime and Punishment (1979).[20]

Hurt voiced Snitter in The Plague Dogs, played Winston Smith in the film adaptation of George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) and starred in Disney's The Black Cauldron (1985), voicing the film's main antagonist, the Horned King. Hurt provided the voiceover for AIDS: Iceberg/Tombstone,[21] a 1986 public information film warning of the dangers of AIDS, and played the title role, the on-screen narrator, in Jim Henson's television series The StoryTeller (1988). He had a supporting role as "Bird" O'Donnell in Jim Sheridan's film The Field (1990), which garnered him another BAFTA nomination and was cast as the reclusive tycoon S.R. Hadden in Contact (1997).[19] During this time, Hurt provided narration on the British musical group Art of Noise's concept album The Seduction of Claude Debussy and narrated a four-part TV series The Universe (1999).

In the first Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001), he played Mr Ollivander, the wand-maker. He returned for the adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, though his scenes in that film were cut. He also returned for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 and Part 2. In the 2005 film V for Vendetta, he played the role of Adam Sutler, leader of the Norsefire fascist dictatorship and in Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) he appeared as Harold Oxley.[22]

He voiced the Great Dragon Kilgharrah, who aids the young warlock Merlin as he protects the future King Arthur, in the BBC television series Merlin (also 2008).[23] In 2011, he narrated the BBC documentary, Planet Dinosaur, the first dinosaur-centred documentary completely shown through CGI.

Cynthia Nixon John Hurt Swoosie Kurtz 2009 Tribeca
Cynthia Nixon, Hurt and Swoosie Kurtz in 2009

More than thirty years after The Naked Civil Servant, Hurt reprised the role of Quentin Crisp in the 2009 film An Englishman in New York. This television film depicts Crisp's later years in New York.[24] He returned to Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, playing the on-screen Big Brother for the Paper Zoo Theatre Company's stage adaptation of the novel in June 2009. The theatre production premiered at the National Media Museum, in Bradford and toured during 2010. Hurt said, "I think Paper Zoo thought it would be quite ironic to have the person who played Winston having risen in the party. From the Chestnut Tree Cafe, he's managed to get his wits together again, now understanding that 2 and 2 make 5, and becomes Big Brother. So it tickled my fancy, and of course I looked up Paper Zoo, and they seem to me to be the sort of company that's essential in the country as we know it, and doing a lot of really good stuff."[25]

John Hurt at the London premiere of Tinker Tailor Soldier Sp
Hurt at the London premiere of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, 2011

At the 65th British Academy Film Awards Hurt won the award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema. In 2013, Hurt appeared in Doctor Who as a 'forgotten' incarnation of the Doctor, known as the War Doctor.[26] His character first appears at the conclusion of the series seven finale "The Name of the Doctor"; his origins are given in the mini-episode "The Night of the Doctor"; he regenerates in the 50th anniversary episode "The Day of the Doctor",[26] He reprised the role on audio for Big Finish Productions in a series of audio stories starting from December 2015.[27]

During Terry Gilliam's eighth attempt at making his infamous development hell project The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, Hurt was set to star as Don Quixote alongside Adam Driver. However, his declining health and eventual death led to project to be cancelled yet again; he was eventually replaced by Jonathan Pryce.[28][29]

Hurt was due to appear alongside Ben Kingsley in a film entitled Broken Dream, to be directed by Neil Jordan.[30] In 2015, Hurt provided the voice of main antagonist Sailor John in the Thomas & Friends film Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure along with Eddie Redmayne (Ryan) and Jamie Campbell Bower (Skiff).[31] At the time of his death he had completed filming two yet-to-be-released films: That Good Night, in which he played a terminally ill writer. Hurt was initially cast as former British prime minister Neville Chamberlain in Darkest Hour. However, according to Gary Oldman, Hurt was undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer, and was unable to attend the read-throughs; actor Ronald Pickup assumed the role of Chamberlain instead, and Hurt died from cancer in January 2017.[32]

Personal life

Hurt had an older brother, Br. Anselm (born Michael), a Roman Catholic convert who became a monk and writer at Glenstal Abbey; Hurt had contributed to his brother's books.[33] Hurt also had an adopted sister, Monica. In 1962, Hurt's father left his parish in Cleethorpes to become headmaster of St. Michael's College in the Central American country of British Honduras. Hurt's mother died in 1975, and his father died in 1999 at the age of 95.

In 1962, Hurt married actress Annette Robertson. The marriage ended in 1964. In 1967, he began his longest relationship, with French model Marie-Lise Volpeliere-Pierrot. The couple had planned to get married after 15 years together; however, on 26 January 1983 Hurt and Volpeliere-Pierrot went horseback riding early in the morning near their house in Ascott-under-Wychwood, Oxfordshire; Volpeliere-Pierrot was thrown off her horse. She went into a coma and died later that day.[34]

In September 1984, Hurt married his old friend, American actress Donna Peacock, at a local Register Office. The couple moved to Kenya but divorced in January 1990.

John Hurt at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival
At the 2009 premiere of An Englishman in New York

On 24 January 1990, Hurt married American production assistant Joan Dalton,[19] whom he had met while filming Scandal. With her, he had two sons. This marriage ended in 1996 and was followed by a seven-year relationship with Dublin-born presenter and writer Sarah Owens. The couple moved to County Wicklow, where they settled close to their friends, director John Boorman and Claddagh Records founder and Guinness heir Garech Browne. In July 2002, the couple separated. In March 2005, Hurt married his fourth wife, advertising film producer Anwen Rees-Meyers. He gave up smoking and drinking after his fourth marriage.[35] He lived in Cromer, Norfolk.[36]

In 2007, Hurt took part in the BBC genealogical television series Who Do You Think You Are?, which investigated part of his family history. Prior to the programme, Hurt had harboured a love of Ireland and was enamoured of a "deeply beguiling" family legend that suggested his great-grandmother had been the illegitimate daughter of a Marquess of Sligo. The genealogical evidence uncovered seemed to contradict the family legend, rendering the suggestion doubtful. The search revealed that his great-grandmother had previously lived in Grimsby, at a location within a mile of the art college at which Hurt had been a student.[37]

In 2016, Hurt announced he was in favour of the United Kingdom voting to remain in the EU.[38]

Illness and death

On 16 June 2015, Hurt publicly announced that he had been diagnosed with early-stage pancreatic cancer.[39] He confirmed that he would continue to work while undergoing treatment and said that both he and the medical team treating him were "more than optimistic about a satisfactory outcome".[40] Following treatment, Hurt stated that his cancer was in remission on 12 October 2015.[41] Hurt died at his home in Cromer, Norfolk, on 25 January 2017, three days after his 77th birthday.[42][43]

Appointments and awards


In 2004, Hurt was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).[44] He was created a Knight Bachelor in the 2015 New Year Honours for services to drama.[45][46] On 17 July 2015, he attended an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle where he received the accolade from Queen Elizabeth II.[47]

In 2012, Hurt was among the British cultural icons selected by artist Sir Peter Blake to appear in a new version of his most famous artwork – the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover – to celebrate the British cultural figures of his life that he most admires.[48][49]

In 2014, Hurt received the Will Award, presented by the Shakespeare Theatre Company, along with Stacy Keach and Dame Diana Rigg. The John Hurt Centre opened in September 2016 and is an education and exhibition space located at Cinema City, Norwich.[50]

Charity patron

Since 2003, Hurt was a patron of the Proteus Syndrome Foundation, both in the United Kingdom and in the US.[51] Proteus syndrome is the condition that Joseph Merrick, whom Hurt played (renamed as John Merrick) in The Elephant Man, is thought to have suffered from, although Merrick's exact condition is still not known with certainty.[52][53][54][55]

Since 2006, Hurt had been a patron of Project Harar, a UK-based charity working in Ethiopia for children with facial disfigurements.[56] Hurt was announced as patron of Norwich Cinema City in March 2013.[57]

University degrees and appointments

In January 2002, Hurt received an honorary degree from the University of Derby. In January 2006 he received an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from the University of Hull. In 2012 he was appointed the first Chancellor of Norwich University of the Arts.[58][59]

On 23 January 2013, he was made an Honorary Doctor of Arts by the University of Lincoln, at Lincoln Cathedral.[60]


  1. ^ Sephton, Connor (29 January 2017). "Acclaimed British actor Sir John Hurt dies from cancer aged 77". Sky News. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  2. ^ Kreps, Daniel (27 January 2017). "John Hurt, Oscar-Nominated 'Elephant Man' Actor, Dead at 77". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  3. ^ Sources that refer to the final scene of Hurt's character in Alien as one of the most memorable in cinematic history include these:
  4. ^ Jones, Paul. "Doctor Who 50th anniversary: John Hurt to play "part of the Doctor"". Radio Times. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
  5. ^ Tobin, Christian. "John Hurt teases 'Doctor Who' 50th anniversary special role". Digital Spy. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
  6. ^ a b Ellen, Barbara (13 March 2006). "Barbara Ellen meets John Hurt". The Observer. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  7. ^ "John Hurt, 'the most distinctive voice in Britain', falls silent". The Australian. 30 January 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  8. ^ "John Hurt 'thrilled' with Bafta lifetime achievement honour". BBC News. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
  9. ^ "John Hurt biography". Retrieved 16 June 2015.
  10. ^ England and Wales Birth records Archived 16 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine retrieved 23 August 2014.
  11. ^ "John Hurt biography". Retrieved 28 October 2010.
  12. ^ "BBC Radio Derby". Retrieved 28 October 2010.
  13. ^ "John Hurt obituary: Open-hearted and hysterically funny".
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  15. ^ a b "The Guardian Interview: John Hurt". The Guardian. UK. 1 July 2000. Retrieved 28 October 2010.
  16. ^ Rob Sharp (19 April 2008). Central Saint Martins: The art and soul of Britain Archived 20 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine. The Independent (London). Retrieved July 2013.
  17. ^ a b c Seth G. Macy (27 January 2017). "Alien and Harry Potter Actor John HurtDies". IGN. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  18. ^ a b "Actor John Hurt Is Dead At 77". Fox. 27 January 2017. Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  19. ^ a b c Chris Graham (28 January 2017). "Sir John Hurt, legendary British actor, dies aged 77 after battle with pancreatic cancer". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  20. ^ Jasper Rees (18 April 2007). "Why I'm So Furious with the BBC". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  21. ^ "BFI Screenonline: AIDS: Iceberg / Tombstone". Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  22. ^ "IESB First Look: Indy IV Looks Back at the Original Trilogy" (Video). IESB. 1 May 2008. Retrieved 1 May 2008.
  23. ^ Leigh Holmwood (23 July 2008). "Michelle Ryan and John Hurt join all-star cast for BBC1 drama Merlin". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
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  28. ^ "John Hurt says he'll star in Terry Gilliam's Don Quixote movie, if it ever happens". AV Club. 23 September 2014.
  29. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin (22 September 2015). "Terry Gilliam's 'The Man Who Killed Don Quixote' Delayed Again Due To John Hurt's Cancer Diagnosis". The Playlist. Archived from the original on 27 November 2015. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  30. ^ "Ben Kinglsey & John Hurt for Neil Jordan – John Boorman's 'Broken Dream'". IFTN. Retrieved 15 April 2011.
  31. ^ "Eddie Redmayne, John Hurt Board 'Thomas' Feature". Animation Magazine. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  32. ^ "John Hurt won't appear in Darkest Hour, what was thought to be his final film". Digital Spy. 16 May 2017. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  33. ^ "Br. Alselm's cookbook". 17 October 2009. Archived from the original on 2 August 2012. Retrieved 28 October 2010.
  34. ^ Norman, Michael (2 December 1990). "John Hurt: Always in Character". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
  35. ^ "Never lose the edge - John Hurt interview".
  36. ^ "Acting legend John Hurt talks about his upcoming BAFTA award and life living near Cromer". Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  37. ^ "Who Do You Think You Are? – John Hurt". BBC Magazine. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
  38. ^ "The celebrities that support Brexit (and the ones backing Remain)". The Independent. Retrieved 2018-11-27.
  39. ^ "Actor John Hurt reveals cancer diagnosis: agency". Reuters. 16 June 2015. Archived from the original on 16 June 2015. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
  40. ^ "'John Hurt 'more than optimistic' as he reveals pancreatic cancer diagnosis'". The Guardian. 15 June 2015. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  41. ^ "'John Hurt "overjoyed" and "thrilled" at cancer remission news'". DigitalSpy. 14 October 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  42. ^ "Sir John Hurt: Bafta-winning actor dies aged 77". BBC News. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  43. ^ Coveney, Michael (28 January 2017). "Sir John Hurt obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  44. ^ "Actor Hurt earns his CBE". BBC News. 9 December 2004. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  45. ^ "No. 61092". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2014. p. N2.
  46. ^ 2015 New Year Honours List Archived 2 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  47. ^ "'Proud' John Hurt Receives Knighthood". Sky News. 17 July 2015. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  48. ^ "New faces on Sgt Pepper album cover for artist Peter Blake's 80th birthday". The Guardian. 5 October 2016.
  49. ^ "Sir Peter Blake's new Beatles' Sgt Pepper's album cover". BBC. 9 November 2016.
  50. ^ "The John Hurt Centre". Norfolk at the Pictures. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  51. ^ "Proteus Syndrome Foundation UK".
  52. ^ Tibbles JA, Cohen MM (1986). "The Proteus Syndrome: the Elephant Man diagnosed". Br Med J (Clin Res Ed). 293 (6548): 683–85. doi:10.1136/bmj.293.6548.683. PMC 1341524. PMID 3092979.
  53. ^ Spiring P (June 2001). "The improbable "Elephant Man"". Biologist (London). p. 104. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  54. ^ "Ancient DNA analysis unveils mystery of history's most horribly deformed man -- The Elephant Man". EurekAlert!. 21 July 2003. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  55. ^ Highfield, Roger (22 July 2003). "Science uncovers handsome side of the Elephant Man". The Daily Telegraph. London, UK. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  56. ^ "John Hurt". Project Harar. 19 July 2006. Archived from the original on 19 January 2010. Retrieved 28 October 2010.
  57. ^ Sabah Meddings (29 March 2013). "John Hurt announced as new patron of Norwich's Cinema City". EDP24. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  58. ^ "Hollywood glamour marks the official renaming of Norwich University of the Arts". Archived from the original on 1 January 2015. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
  59. ^ "Hollywood legend takes up Norwich University post". ITV News. 29 June 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  60. ^ "John Hurt CBE joins honoraries at January graduation" Archived 22 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine University of Lincoln, 21 January 2013; retrieved 21 March 2013.

External links


Aldaniti (1970 - 28 March 1997) was a racehorse who won the Grand National on 4 April 1981. Jockey Bob Champion recovered from cancer while Aldaniti recovered after suffering a career threatening injury. The horse was trained by Josh Gifford.

He starred as himself in the 1983 film Champions alongside John Hurt and was voted 62nd in the 100 greatest sporting moments in a Channel 4 poll.

Bob Champion

Robert Champion MBE (born 4 June 1948) is an English former jump jockey who won the 1981 Grand National on Aldaniti. His triumph, while recovering from cancer, was made into a film Champions, with John Hurt portraying Champion. The film is based on Champion's book Champion's Story, which he wrote with close friend and racing journalist and broadcaster Jonathan Powell.

Champions (1984 film)

Champions is a 1984 film based on the true story of jockey Bob Champion. It is directed by John Irvin, produced by Peter Shaw, written by Evan Jones, and stars John Hurt, Edward Woodward and Jan Francis.

Festival (1967 film)

Festival (stylized as Festival!) is a 1967 American documentary film about the Newport Folk Festival, written, produced, and directed by Murray Lerner.

Filmed over the course of three festivals at Newport (1963-1965), the film features performances by Johnny Cash, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Peter, Paul and Mary, Odetta, Bob Dylan, Judy Collins, Mississippi John Hurt, Son House, Howlin' Wolf, Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Spider John Koerner, Theodore Bikel, Hobart Smith, the Osborne Brothers, The Staple Singers, Mimi and Richard Fariña, Donovan, Sacred Harp Singers, Georgia Sea Island Singers, Mike Bloomfield, Judy Collins, Ronnie Gilbert, Moving Star Hall Singers, Blue Ridge Mountain Dancers, and many others.

It also features the infamous 1965 set by Bob Dylan at Newport. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

Frankenstein Unbound

Frankenstein Unbound is a 1990 science fiction horror film movie based on Brian Aldiss' novel of the same name, starring John Hurt, Raúl Juliá, Bridget Fonda, Jason Patric, and Nick Brimble. The film is co-written and directed by Roger Corman, returning to the director's chair after a hiatus of almost twenty years. This is his final directorial effort to date, for which he was paid $1 million to direct.

Frankie and Johnny (song)

"Frankie and Johnny" (sometimes spelled "Frankie and Johnnie"; also known as "Frankie and Albert" or just "Frankie") is a traditional American popular song. It tells the story of a woman, Frankie, who finds her man Johnny making love to another woman and shoots him dead. Frankie is then arrested; in some versions of the song she is also executed.

Merlin (2008 TV series)

Merlin is a British fantasy-adventure drama television programme created by Julian Jones, Jake Michie, Julian Murphy, and Johnny Capps, starring Bradley James as King Arthur and Colin Morgan as Merlin. It was broadcast on BBC One from 20 September 2008 to 24 December 2012 for a total of 65 episodes. The show is loosely based on the Arthurian legends of the young wizard Merlin and his extremely close relationship with King Arthur, but it differs from traditional versions. The show was influenced by the US drama series Smallville about the early years of Superman, and was produced by independent production company Shine Limited.

The show was picked up by the BBC in 2006. The series premiered in 2008 to mixed reviews but good ratings which improved as the series went on, and proved popular on the BBC's digital catch-up service iPlayer. It was shown in the United States on NBC, though it later moved to the cable network Syfy. It is a mainstay on Netflix in both the US and the UK.

Merlin is a reimagining of the legend in which the future King Arthur and Merlin are young contemporaries. Arthur's father Uther Pendragon has banned magic in Camelot. Its use is punishable by death, forcing Merlin to keep his magical powers secret from everyone in Camelot other than his mentor Gaius. Arthur grows from a young, self-absorbed boy to the mighty king in the legends, while Merlin develops into his colossal role in creating the powerful Camelot. In 2012, the show's producers announced that its fifth series would be its last, with a two-part finale on 24 December 2012.

Mississippi John Hurt

John Smith Hurt (possibly March 3, 1892 – November 2, 1966), better known as Mississippi John Hurt, was an American country blues singer and guitarist.Raised in Avalon, Mississippi, Hurt taught himself to play the guitar around the age of nine. He worked as a sharecropper and began playing at dances and parties, singing to a melodious fingerpicked accompaniment. His first recordings, made for Okeh Records in 1928, were commercial failures, and he continued to work as a farmer.

Dick Spottswood and Tom Hoskins, a blues enthusiast, located Hurt in 1963 and persuaded him to move to Washington, D.C. He was recorded by the Library of Congress in 1964. This helped further the American folk music revival, which led to the rediscovery of many other bluesmen of Hurt's era. Hurt performed on the university and coffeehouse concert circuit with other Delta blues musicians who were brought out of retirement. He also recorded several albums for Vanguard Records.

Hurt returned to Mississippi, where he died, in Grenada, a year later.

Material recorded by him has been re-released by many record labels. His songs have been recorded by Bob Dylan, Dave Van Ronk, Jerry Garcia, Beck, Doc Watson, John McCutcheon, Taj Mahal, Bruce Cockburn, David Johansen, Bill Morrissey, Gillian Welch, Josh Ritter, Chris Smither, Guthrie Thomas, Parsonsfield, and Rory Block.

Nearer, My God, to Thee

"Nearer, My God, to Thee" is a 19th-century Christian hymn by Sarah Flower Adams, which retells the story of Jacob's dream. Genesis 28:11–12 can be translated as follows: "So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it..."

The hymn is well known, among other uses, as the alleged last song the band on RMS Titanic played before the ship sank.


Romeo.Juliet is the title of a 1990 film version of William Shakespeare's classic play Romeo and Juliet. It was made by American producer, director and cinematographer, Armando Acosta (also credited as Armondo Linus Acosta and Armand Acosta) in conjunction with Moonseed Productions using the feral cats of Venice, New York City, and Ghent as actors, with the voices dubbed by some of the greats of the English theatre including Ben Kingsley, Maggie Smith, Vanessa Redgrave, Robert Powell, Francesca Annis, Victor Spinetti, Quentin Crisp, and John Hurt. The score of the film features Serge Prokofiev's 'Romeo and Juliet Ballet' as performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn conducting and an original theme composed by Armando Acosta and Emanuel Vardi, performed by the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Barry Wordsworth.

The story of this film revolves around an eccentric bag lady (played by John Hurt), the only human being in the film, who takes the cats of Venice and puts them on a boat, which sails to the New World.

The world premiere was held at the 1990 Venice Film Festival. Former festival director, Guglielmo Biraghi invited the film to be screened out of competition. Romeo.Juliet was later screened at the Flanders Film Festival and Cologne Film Festival. In January 1992, the film was screened in Los Angeles at the Directors Guild Theatre, Writers Guild Theatre, and at Warner Brothers studio.

The motion picture was conceived and created as a film-in-concert with a live orchestra performing the soundtrack with the projection of the movie. The World Premiere of the Romeo.Juliet Film-in-Concert was held at the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels in June 1992. British born conductor, Nicholas Cleobury, led the National Orchestra of Belgium in three performances. John Hurt attended the premiere along with Oleg Prokofiev, son of composer, Serge Prokofiev. Oleg Prokovfiev stated in an interview, "'s not simply a film, it's a poem. It's a higher art than cinema, it's super cinema. A special cinema which does not follow a classical story line, but harmoniously blends my father's ballet music, Shakespeare's text and the magical images of the film." A second series of film concerts was held in Japan in February 1993 at the NHK Hall with Yoko Matsuo conducting the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra.

The film is described as having been difficult to produce, requiring over 400 hours of footage of the feline cast to assemble the images for the final film. The movie was shot entirely on video and then successfully transferred to 35mm. It is also remarkable for being one of the few major releases in which several members of the production team gave up their salaries to produce the film. It has not been re-released for the home video market. This lack of availability, which has been described as making it "more rare than the dinosaur" has made it a sought-after item in some circles.

See See Rider

"See See Rider", also known as "C.C. Rider", "See See Rider Blues" or "Easy Rider", is a popular American 12-bar blues song, originally recorded by Gertrude "Ma" Rainey in 1924. The song uses mostly traditional blues lyrics to tell the story of an unfaithful lover, commonly called an easy rider: "See see rider, see what you have done," making a play on the word see and the sound of easy.

Shortnin' Bread

"Shortnin' Bread" (also spelled "Shortenin' Bread," "Short'nin' Bread," or "Sho'tnin' Bread") is a song with folk roots that date back at least to the 1890s. James Whitcomb Riley published a poem building on older lyrics in 1900. A folk version was published by E.C. Perrow in 1915. It is song number 4209 in the Roud Folk Song Index. Shortening bread refers to a fried batter bread, made of corn meal, flour, hot water, eggs, baking powder, milk and shortening.

Stagger Lee

"Stagger Lee", also known as "Stagolee" and other variants, is a popular American folk song about the murder of Billy Lyons by "Stag" Lee Shelton in St. Louis, Missouri at Christmas, 1895. The song was first published in 1911, and was first recorded in 1923 by Fred Waring's Pennsylvanians. A version by Lloyd Price reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1959.

The Elephant Man (film)

The Elephant Man is a 1980 historical drama film about Joseph Merrick (whom the script calls John Merrick), a severely deformed man in late 19th century London. The film was directed by David Lynch and stars John Hurt, Anthony Hopkins, Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller, Michael Elphick, Hannah Gordon, and Freddie Jones. It was produced by Jonathan Sanger and Mel Brooks, the latter of whom was intentionally left uncredited to avoid confusion from audiences who possibly would have expected a comedy.

The screenplay was adapted by Lynch, Christopher De Vore, and Eric Bergren from Frederick Treves's The Elephant Man and Other Reminiscences (1923) and Ashley Montagu's The Elephant Man: A Study in Human Dignity (1971). It was shot in black-and-white and featured make-up work by Christopher Tucker.

The Elephant Man was a critical and commercial success with eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Actor. After receiving widespread criticism for failing to honor the film's make-up effects, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was prompted to create the Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling the following year. The film also won the BAFTA Awards for Best Film, Best Actor, and Best Production Design and was nominated for Golden Globe awards. It also won a French César Award for Best Foreign Film.

The Proposition (2005 film)

The Proposition is a 2005 Australian bushranger western film directed by John Hillcoat and written by screenwriter and musician Nick Cave. It stars Guy Pearce, Ray Winstone, Emily Watson, John Hurt, Danny Huston and David Wenham. The film's production completed in 2004 and was followed by a wide 2005 release in Australia and a 2006 theatrical run in the U.S. through First Look Pictures.

The War Doctor (audio drama series)

The War Doctor, announced in October 2015, is a Big Finish Productions audio play series based on the TV show Doctor Who. It sees the return of Sir John Hurt as the War Doctor, a role he previously portrayed in the TV story "The Name of the Doctor" as well as more prominently in the 50th Anniversary special "The Day of the Doctor". The series consists of four box sets, each made up of three hour-long episodes, the first released in December 2015, the remaining three volumes followed across 2016 and into 2017.

Tony Hurt

Anthony John Hurt (born 30 March 1946, in Auckland) is a former New Zealand rower who won two Olympic medals. At the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich he teamed with Dick Joyce, Wybo Veldman, John Hunter, Lindsay Wilson, Athol Earl, Trevor Coker and Gary Robertson and Simon Dickie (cox) to win the gold medal in the eights. At the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal he again crewed the eight which this time won the Bronze medal. His crewmates this time were Alec McLean, Ivan Sutherland, Trevor Coker, Peter Dignan, Lindsay Wilson, Athol Earl and Dave Rodger and Simon Dickie (cox). In both Olympic races, he was the stroke.Hurt later had a plumbing business in Auckland.

Vincent (1987 film)

Vincent: The Life and Death of Vincent van Gogh is a documentary film by Australian director Paul Cox, exploring the last eight years of the artist's life. Cox was attracted to the project because of his personal admiration for Vincent van Gogh:

I found him such a compassionate, wonderful human being. That attracted me above all. I found him always honest, always real, always doing his utmost, and I related very much to his type of loneliness. It's the loneliness, the dreadful loneliness that I've known all my life. That was still much stronger for me when I tried to become a film-maker - you know, up to 30, 35, I was terribly alone. I was not equipped for the world at all, and, at that level, that is a very similar background to Vincent.

The screen images consist of a wide selection of the paintings and sketches, shown in a chronological sequence, supplemented by shots of the locations he lived in, and a number of dramatised reconstructions of biographical events.

John Hurt reads the letters of Vincent van Gogh to his brother Theo.

The film was a popular hit on the art house circuit and ran for two years in New York City.

War Doctor

The War Doctor is an incarnation of the Doctor, the protagonist of the BBC science fiction television programme Doctor Who. He was portrayed by the English actor John Hurt. Although he precedes Christopher Eccleston's Ninth Doctor in the show's fictional chronology, his first onscreen appearance came eight years after Eccleston's; the War Doctor was retroactively created by showrunner Steven Moffat for productions celebrating the show's 50th anniversary.

Within the programme's narrative, the Doctor is a centuries-old alien, a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey, who travels in time and space in his TARDIS, frequently with companions. When the Doctor is critically injured, he can regenerate his body, but in doing so, gains a new physical appearance and with it, a distinct new personality. This plot device has allowed a number of actors to portray different incarnations of the Doctor over the show's long run.

The War Doctor, not so named within the episodes in which he appears, is introduced as the incarnation of the Doctor who fought in the Time War of the show's modern-day backstory. He was created as a result of a conscious decision of the Eighth Doctor, played by Paul McGann, to take up arms and become a warrior; in accepting this duty, the War Doctor disowned the title of "Doctor", and after the war's end is viewed with disdain by his subsequent incarnations, who reclaim the title that the character is known by. In the 50th anniversary special "The Day of the Doctor", however, the Eleventh Doctor played by Matt Smith revises his opinion of this incarnation after revisiting the final moments of the war.

In his original conception of the show's anniversary special, Moffat had written the Ninth Doctor as having ended the Time War. However, he was "pretty certain" that Christopher Eccleston would decline to return to the role, which he did. As he also had reservations about making Paul McGann's Eighth Doctor the incarnation who had ended the war, he created a never-before-seen past incarnation of the Doctor, which allowed him "a freer hand" in writing the story, acknowledging that the success of doing this would be predicated on being able to cast an actor with a significant enough profile.

Awards for John Hurt

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