William Hurt, who won an Oscar for his role in Kiss of the Spider Woman and who starred in a few Marvel Cinematic Universe films, has died at the age of 71.
“It is with great sadness that the Hurt family mourns the passing of William Hurt, beloved father and Oscar winning actor, on March 13, 2022, one week before his 72nd birthday,” his son wrote in a statement obtained by Rolling Stone. “He died peacefully, among family, of natural causes. The family requests privacy at this time.”
William Hurt won an Academy Award for Best Actor in 1985 for his role as Luis Alberto Molina in Kiss of the Spider Woman. Then he was nominated again for the Academy Award for Best Actor two years in a row for his roles in 1986’s Children of a Lesser God and 1987’s Broadcast News. He was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 2005’s A History of Violence despite only having a few minutes of screen time.
Hurt also earned Emmy nominations for Too Big to Fail in 2011 and Damages in 2009. He was also famous for his roles in Body Heat and Gorky Park.
Marvel fans recognize him for his recurring role as General Thaddeus Ross. Hurt played the MCU character in The Incredible Hulk and Captain America: Civil War. He made appearances in Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, and Black Widow.
William Hurt was born in Washington, DC. He attended Tufts University and then Juilliard School. His first big role was in Altered States directed by Ken Russell.
Late film critic Roger Ebert wrote this in 1988 about Hurt after the release of The Accidental Tourist: “One of the two or three best actors in American movies.”
“To almost all of his roles, he brings along a sense of the ordinary, the sense that this is simply a person who happens to find himself in this place at this time,” Ebert said. “That almost bland exterior in the opening scenes is what sets up the later emotional explosions, especially in movies like Altered States and Body Heat.”
“When Hurt goes over the top, he appears to have started from a quieter place, and so he seems to have traveled a greater distance than a Mickey Rourke or a Robert De Niro. Only Jack Nicholson is his equal at seeming utterly ordinary,” Ebert continued.
William Hurt Remembered By Fellow Actors Via Social Media
“R.I.P. William Hurt. So sad to hear this news,” Albert Brooks wrote on Twitter Sunday. “Working with him on Broadcast News was amazing. He will be greatly missed.”
“Wow, another major loss to the acting community. Great actor. Great mind. RIP,” Mark Ruffalo said.
“Saddened to hear of the passing of actor William Hurt,” tweeted Star Trek star George Takei. “He broke the mold in his Oscar-winning role in Kiss of the Spider Woman, broke smiles in Broadcast News, and broke our hearts in The Accidental Tourist. A great loss to the world. Rest among the stars now, good sir.”
Director M. Night Shaymalan, who worked with Hurt on The Village, said Hurt was “a master of his acting craft. Every take was new and revealing.”
No memorial details have been revealed. Hurt is survived by four children.