RADA staff, students and alumni were sad to hear the news that alumnus and BAFTA award-winning actor Sir John Hurt has passed away at the age of 77.
Hurt trained at RADA from 1960-62, having previously studied at art college in Grimsby and London. His breakthrough role came playing Richard Rich in the 1966 film adaptation of A Man for All Seasons. Over the next 50 years, his career included acclaimed roles in theatre, film and television, winning awards including a Golden Globe, two BAFTA Awards and three Evening Standard British Film Awards.
Hurt's varied career ranged from family favourites such as the Harry Potter series and, more recently Doctor Who, to Oscar nominations for The Elephant Man and Midnight Express, and stage appearances in Pinter's The Caretaker, Beckett's Krapp’s Last Tape and Chekhov’s The Seagull. His appearance in sci-fi classic Alien led to what is now one of the most famous scenes in movie history, while his central performance in the 1984 film adaptation of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four was described by influential film critic Roger Ebert as "the perfect Winston Smith".
Hurt's other notable credits include 10 Rillington Place, The Naked Civil Servant, I, Claudius, An Englishman in New York, V for Vendetta and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. He continued to work after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2015, but was forced to cancel his appearance in The Entertainer in the West End opposite Sir Kenneth Branagh due to ill health. Most recently he appeared alongside Natalie Portman in the new biopic of JFK's widow Jackie, and will be seen as Neville Chamberlain in upcoming war drama Darkest Hour alongside Gary Oldman and Kristin Scott Thomas.
Sir John Hurt died on 25 January 2017. Click here for a full obituary.