by Abb Jones
The Reelness

Oscar-winner William Hurt, star of such films as Broadcast News, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Body Heat and Children of a Lesser God, has died at the age of 71, a week shy of his 72nd birthday.

William Hurt in 1987’s Broadcast News.

One of his sons says Hurt died peacefully Sunday at his home in Portland, Oregon, surrounded by family members. In May 2018 it was revealed that Hurt had terminal prostate cancer that had spread to the bone.

Kathleen Turner and William Hurt in the 1981 crime thriller Body Heat.

The son of a State Department employee, Hurt moved with his mother to New York City in 1950 at the age of six when his parents divorced. Hurt was a theology student at Tufts University when the acting bug bit during a year abroad in England with his then-wife, actress Mary Beth Hurt. He then attended Julliard, where he studied acting with Christopher Reeve, Robin Williams and Mandy Patinkin, Trained on the stage, Hurt made his big screen debut in 1980’s Altered States, as a psychopathologist experimenting with sensory deprivation and flotation tanks. A year later was his breakthrough performance in the iconic crime thriller, Body Heat, co-starring Kathleen Turner.

William Hurt won a Best Actor Oscar for 1985’s Kiss of the Spider Woman.

Hurt would win an Best Actor Oscar for his performance as a transvestite window dresser trapped in a South American jail cell in 1985’s Kiss of the Spider Woman. Oscar nominations would follow the next two years as a teacher at a school for the deaf in Children of a Lesser God, co-starring Marlee Matlin (CODA), and as the dim-but-sexy news anchor in Broadcast News, which co-starred Holly Hunter and Albert Brooks. Hurt’s fourth and final Oscar nomination would come in 2005, as the sinister mob boss in David Cronenberg’s A History of Violence.

William Hurt as the Marvel character Thaddeus Ross.

To younger fans, Hurt was part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, playing the role of Thaddeus Ross, the general who was present the day that Bruce Banner became the Hulk. Hurt appeared in five Marvel films, including Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame and Black Widow.

Hurt is survived by four children.





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