British actor John Hurt dies at 77

 Sir John Hurt, known for his roles in Alien and the Elephant Man, died on Friday • Hurt had been battling pancreatic cancer

28 January 2017, 9:54am
Sir John Hurt has passed away, aged 77
Sir John Hurt has passed away, aged 77
Veteran actor Sir John Hurt has died aged 77, his agent has said. The Bafta-winning star, known for his roles in Alien and The Elephant Man, had been treated for pancreatic cancer in 2015.

He recently starred as Father Richard McSorley in Jackie, the biopic of President John F. Kennedy's wife.

US director Mel Brooks described Sir John as "cinematic immortality", as tributes poured in for the star.

Despite being given the all-clear for cancer, he last year pulled out of play The Entertainer due to ill-health.

Hurt was a rising stage actor in England in the 1960s but spent most of the remainder of his career compiling a long résumé in movies and on television.

“A chameleon of a performer, physically unimposing but with a rich, melodic voice, he played a number of leading roles, though he could never be described as a leading man. Critics often seemed challenged to explain the appeal of his presence,” the New York Times reported.

Hollywood reacted to Hurt’s demise: Elijah Wood, who worked with Hurt in The Oxford Murders, said: “Very said to hear of John Hurt’s passing. It was such an honor to have watched you work, sir.”

Mel Brooks remembered Hurt’s role as The Elephant Man: “No one could have played The Elephant Man more memorably. He carried that film into cinematic immortality. He will be sorely missed.”