Facts about William Hurt
William Hurt Biography
A cerebral leading man and offbeat character actor, William Hurt was one of the more distinctive Hollywood stars of the 1980s.
Hurt won an Oscar for his leading role as a story-spinning prisoner in the 1985 film version of Manuel Puig‘s Kiss of the Spider Woman (with Raul Julia), but he is more fondly remembered for his starmaking turns in two films by Lawrence Kasdan: the sexy noir thriller Body Heat (1981, with Hurt as a big lug seduced by Kathleen Turner) and the nostalgic baby boomer flick The Big Chill (1983, with Hurt as a disillusioned Vietnam vet).
He was also Oscar-nominated for for his work in Children of a Lesser God (1986), Broadcast News (1987), and A History of Violence (2005, as Viggo Mortensen‘s mean mobster brother).
With his long jaw and thinning sandy hair, Hurt often played ambitious characters who were by turns earnest, sensitive, and hot-headed. in the 1990s he was less prominent on screen, though he played Rochester in Jane Eyre (1996, with Charlotte Gainsbourg as Jane) and galactic explorer John Robinson in the big-budget Lost in Space (1998, with Mimi Rogers).
In later years he worked steadily on stage around the world and popped up in smaller roles on screen. Hurt’s other films include Syriana (2005), The Good Shepherd (2006, directed by Robert DeNiro), Into the Wild (2007, starring Emile Hirsch), and the TV movie Too Big to Fail (2011, as former Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson). He also played super-patriot Gen. Thaddeus Ross in five Marvel movies, from The Incredible Hulk (2008) through Black Widow (2021). The latter movie became his final film role.
Willaim Hurt graduated from Tufts University in 1972 and studied at the Juilliard School in New York City from 1972-75… He was married twice: to actress Mary Beth Hurt (formerly Mary Beth Supinger) from 1971 until their divorce in 1981, and to Heidi Henderson from 1989 until their divorce in 1992. Per Wikipedia, “Hurt had four children: two with [Sandra] Jennings, two with Heidi Henderson, and one with French actress, film director and screenwriter Sandrine Bonnaire”… Hurt died of natural causes, according to his family’s announcement after his death. However, Hurt said in 2018 that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Something in Common with William Hurt
4 Good Links
- His 2022 obituary from Variety
- Profile and select filmography from Filmbug
- 2005 profile of Hurt from The Guardian
- Roger Ebert looks back at Hurt's 1981 film noir