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John Hurt

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Title: John Hurt  
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Subject: The Doctor (Doctor Who), The Elephant Man (film), BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, The Climb (1999 film), Heaven's Gate (film)
Collection: 1940 Births, 20Th-Century English Male Actors, 21St-Century English Male Actors, Actors Awarded British Knighthoods, Actors from Derbyshire, Alumni of Saint Martin's School of Art, Alumni of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Bafta Winners (People), Best Actor Bafta Award Winners, Best Supporting Actor Bafta Award Winners, Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe (Film) Winners, Commanders of the Order of the British Empire, English Anglicans, English Expatriates in Ireland, English Male Film Actors, English Male Stage Actors, English Male Television Actors, English Male Voice Actors, Knights Bachelor, Living People, Male Actors from Kent, Male Actors from Lincolnshire, People Associated with Norwich University of the Arts, People Educated at St Michael's Preparatory School, Otford, People from Chesterfield, People from Cromer, Norfolk, People from Shirebrook, People with Cancer
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

John Hurt

Sir John Hurt
Hurt in 2015
Born (1940-01-22) 22 January 1940
Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England
Occupation Actor
Years active 1961–present
  • Annette Robertson
  • (1962–1964)
  • Donna Peacock
  • (1984–1990)
  • Joan Dalton
  • (1990–1996)
  • Anwen Rees-Myers
  • (2005–present)

Sir John Vincent Hurt, CBE (born 22 January 1940)[1][2] is an English actor.

Hurt has had a career spanning six decades and initially came to prominence for his supporting role as Richard Rich in the film A Man for All Seasons (1966). Since then he has played leading roles as Quentin Crisp in the TV film The Naked Civil Servant (1975), the deformed man John Merrick in David Lynch's biopic The Elephant Man (1980), Winston Smith in the dystopian drama Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984), Mr. Braddock in the Stephen Frears drama The Hit (1984), and Stephen Ward in the drama depicting the Profumo affair, Scandal (1989). He is also known for his television roles as Caligula in I, Claudius (1976), and the War Doctor in the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special, "The Day of the Doctor" (2013).[3][4]

Hurt's other films include the prison drama Midnight Express (1978), the science-fiction horror film Alien (1979), the adventure film Rob Roy (1995), the political thriller V for Vendetta (2006), the sci-fi adventure film Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), the Harry Potter film series (2001–11), the Hellboy films (2004 and 2008), and the Cold War espionage film Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011). His character's final scene in Alien has been named by a number of publications as one of the most memorable in cinematic history.[5]

Recognisable for his distinctive rich voice,[6] he has also enjoyed a successful voice acting career in films such as Watership Down (1978), the animated The Lord of the Rings (1978), The Black Cauldron, and Dogville, as well as the BBC television series Merlin.

Among other honours, he has received two Academy Award nominations, a Golden Globe Award, and four BAFTA Awards, with the fourth being a Lifetime Achievement recognition for his outstanding contribution to British cinema.[7]


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Personal life 3
    • Health issues 3.1
  • Appointments and honours 4
    • Honours 4.1
    • Charity patron 4.2
    • University degrees and appointments 4.3
  • Filmography 5
    • Films 5.1
    • Television 5.2
    • Video games 5.3
    • Other projects and contributions 5.4
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life

Hurt was born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire,[8] the son of Phyllis (née Massey), an amateur actress and engineer, and Arnould Herbert Hurt, a mathematician who became a Church of England clergyman and served as vicar of Shirebrook.[9][10] Hurt's father was also Vicar of St John's parish, Sunderland. In 1937, he moved his family to Derbyshire, where he became Perpetual Curate of Holy Trinity Church. When Hurt was five, his father became the vicar of St. Stephen's Church in Woodville, south Derbyshire, and remained there until 1952.

Hurt had a strict upbringing; the family lived opposite a cinema, but he was not allowed to see films there. He was also not permitted to mix with local children because his parents saw them as "too common".[11]

At the age of eight, Hurt was sent to the Anglican St Michael's Preparatory School in Otford, Kent, where he eventually developed his passion for acting. He decided he wanted to become an actor, and his first role was that of a girl in a school production of The Bluebird (L'Oiseau Bleu) by Maurice Maeterlinck. He has stated that while he was a pupil at the school, he was abused by Donald Cormack (now deceased), then Senior Master of the school and later Headmaster until his retirement in 1981.[12] Hurt has said that Cormack would remove his two false front teeth and put his tongue in the boys' mouths, and how he would rub their faces with his stubble, and that the experience affected him hugely.[13]

Hurt's father moved to Old Clee Church in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, and Hurt (then aged 12) became a boarder at Lincoln School (then a grammar school) in Lincoln, because he had failed the entrance examination for admission to his brother's school. Hurt often went with his mother to Cleethorpes Repertory Theatre, but his parents disliked his acting ambitions and encouraged him to become an art teacher instead. His headmaster, Mr Franklin, laughed when Hurt told him he wanted to be an actor, telling him that he "wouldn't stand a chance in the profession".[11]

Aged 17, Hurt enrolled in Grimsby Art School (now the East Coast School of Art & Design), where he studied art. In 1959, he won a scholarship allowing him to study for an Art Teacher's Diploma (ATD) at Saint Martin's School of Art in London.[14] Despite the scholarship, paying his tuition fees and living expenses was difficult, so he persuaded some of his friends to pose naked and sold the portraits. In 1960, he won a scholarship to RADA, where he trained for two years. He was then cast in small roles on television.


Hurt's first film was The Wild and the Willing (1962), but his first major role was as Richard Rich in A Man for All Seasons (1966). In 1971 he played Timothy Evans, who was hanged for murders committed by his landlord John Christie, in 10 Rillington Place, earning him his first BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actor. His portrayal of Quentin Crisp in the 1975 TV play The Naked Civil Servant gave him prominence and earned him the British Academy Television Award for Best Actor. The following year, Hurt won further acclaim for his bravura performance as the Roman emperor Caligula in the BBC drama serial, I, Claudius. In the 2002 TV documentary I Claudius: A Television Epic, Hurt revealed that he had originally declined the role when it was first offered to him, but that series director Herbert Wise had invited him to a special pre-production party, hoping Hurt would change his mind, and that he was so impressed by meeting the rest of the cast and crew that he reversed his decision and took the part.

In 1978, Hurt appeared in Midnight Express, for which he won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (the latter of which he lost to Christopher Walken for his performance in The Deer Hunter). Hurt voiced Hazel, the heroic rabbit leader of his warren in the film adaptation of Watership Down and later played the major villain, General Woundwort, in the animated television series version.

His other roles in the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s included Kane, the first victim of the title creature in the film Alien (1979, a role which he reprised as a parody in Spaceballs); would-be art school radical Scrawdyke in Little Malcolm (1974); and John Merrick in The Elephant Man (1980), for which he won another BAFTA and was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Actor. In 1978 he lent his voice to Ralph Bakshi's animated film adaptation of Lord of the Rings, playing the role of Aragorn. He also had a starring role in Sam Peckinpah's critically panned but moderately successful final film, The Osterman Weekend (1983). Also in 1983 he starred as the Fool opposite Laurence Olivier's King in King Lear. Hurt also appeared as Raskolnikov in the 1979 BBC TV mini-series adaptation of Crime and Punishment.

Cynthia Nixon, Hurt and Swoosie Kurtz in 2009.

Hurt played Winston Smith in the 1984 film adaptation of the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. In 1985 he starred in Disney's The Black Cauldron, voicing the film's main antagonist, the Horned King. In 1986, Hurt provided the voiceover for AIDS: Iceberg / Tombstone,[15] a public information film warning of the dangers of AIDS. In 1988 he played the title role, the on-screen narrator, in Jim Henson's The StoryTeller TV series. He had a supporting role as "Bird" O'Donnell in Jim Sheridan's 1990 film The Field, which garnered him another BAFTA nomination. In 1997, Hurt played the reclusive tycoon S.R. Hadden in Contact.

In 2001, he played Mr Ollivander, the wand-maker, in the first Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. He returned for the adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, though his scenes in that film were cut. He also returned for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 and Part 2. In 1999, Hurt provided narration on the British musical group Art of Noise's concept album The Seduction of Claude Debussy. During this time, he narrated a four-part TV series The Universe which was released on DVD in 1999. In the 2006 film V for Vendetta he played the role of Adam Sutler, leader of the Norsefire fascist dictatorship. In May 2008, he appeared in Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull as Harold Oxley.[16] He is also the voice of The Great Dragon Kilgharrah, who aids the young warlock Merlin as he protects the future king Arthur, in the BBC television series Merlin.

In 2008, 33 years after The Naked Civil Servant, Hurt reprised the role of Quentin Crisp in An Englishman in New York. This film depicts Crisp's later years in New York.[17]

In June 2009, Hurt played the on-screen Big Brother for Paper Zoo Theatre Company's production of Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. The theatre production premiered at the National Media Museum, in Bradford and toured during 2010. Hurt said, "I think Paper Zoo thought it would be quite ironic to have the person who played Winston having risen in the party. From the Chestnut Tree Cafe, he's managed to get his wits together again, now understanding that 2 and 2 make 5, and becomes Big Brother. So it tickled my fancy, and of course I looked up Paper Zoo, and they seem to me to be the sort of company that's essential in the country as we know it, and doing a lot of really good stuff."[18]

At the 65th British Academy Film Awards Hurt won the award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema.

In 2013, Hurt appeared in the the Doctor, known as the War Doctor.[19] It is a role he will reprise on audio for Big Finish Productions in a series of sets starting from December 2015.[20]

Hurt is due to appear alongside Ben Kingsley in a film entitled Broken Dream, to be directed by Neil Jordan.[21]

Personal life

Hurt has an older brother, Br. Anselm (born Michael), a Roman Catholic convert who became a monk and writer at Glenstal Abbey; Hurt has contributed to his brother's books.[22] Hurt also has an adopted sister, Monica. In 1962, Hurt's father left his parish in Cleethorpes to become headmaster of St. Michael's College in the Central American country of British Honduras. Hurt's mother died in 1975, and his father died in 1999 at the age of 95.

In 1962, Hurt married actress Annette Robertson. The marriage ended in 1964. In 1967, he began his longest relationship, with French model Marie-Lise Volpeliere-Pierrot, sister of fashion photographer Jean-Claude Volpeliere-Pierrot. The couple had planned to get married after 15 years together, when events took a tragic turn on 26 January 1983; Hurt and Volpeliere-Pierrot went horse riding early in the morning near their house in Ascott-under-Wychwood, Oxfordshire. Volpeliere-Pierrot was thrown off her horse and injured. She went into a coma and died later that day.[23] In September 1984, Hurt married his old friend, American actress Donna Peacock, at a local Register Office. The couple moved to Kenya, but divorced in January 1990.

At the 2009 premiere of An Englishman in New York

On 24 January 1990, Hurt married American production assistant Joan Dalton,[24] whom he had met while filming Scandal. With her he had two sons: Alexander "Sasha" John Vincent Hurt (born 6 February 1990) and Nicholas "Nick" Hurt (born 5 February 1993), who are currently residing in County Waterford, Ireland. This marriage ended in 1996 and was followed with a seven-year relationship with Dublin-born presenter and writer Sarah Owens. The couple moved to County Wicklow, where they settled close to their friends, director John Boorman and Claddagh Records founder and Guinness heir Garech Browne. In July 2002 the couple separated. In March 2005, Hurt married his fourth wife, advertising film producer Anwen Rees Meyers. He now lives near Cromer, Norfolk.[25]

In 2007, Hurt took part in the BBC genealogical television series Who Do You Think You Are?, which investigated part of his family history. Prior to participating in the programme, Hurt had harboured a love of Ireland and was enamoured of a 'deeply beguiling' family legend that suggested his great-grandmother had been the illegitimate daughter of Irish nobleman the Marquess of Sligo. The genealogical evidence uncovered seemed to contradict the family legend, rendering the 'suggestion' doubtful. Coincidentally the search revealed that his great-grandmother had previously lived in Grimsby at a location within a mile of the art college at which Hurt had been a student.[26]

Health issues

On 16 June 2015, Hurt publicly announced that he had been diagnosed with early-stage pancreatic cancer.[27] He confirmed that he would continue to work while undergoing treatment, and said that both he and his medical team were "more than optimistic about a satisfactory outcome".[28] Following treatment, Hurt was given the all-clear on 12 October 2015.[29]

Appointments and honours


In 2004, Hurt was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).[30]

In 2014, Hurt received the Will Award, presented by the Shakespeare Theatre Company, along with Stacey Keach and Dame Diana Rigg.

He was knighted in the 2015 New Year Honours for services to drama.[31][32] On 17 July 2015, he attended an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle where he received the accolade from Queen Elizabeth II.[33]

Charity patron

Since 2003, Hurt has been a patron of the Proteus Syndrome Foundation, both in the United Kingdom and in the USA.[34] Proteus syndrome is the condition that Joseph Merrick, whom Hurt played (renamed as John Merrick) in The Elephant Man, is thought to have suffered from, although Merrick's exact condition is still not known with certainty.[35][36][37][38]

Since 2006, Hurt has been a patron of Project Harar, a UK-based charity working in Ethiopia for children with facial disfigurements.[39]

Since 2009 he has been patron of QUAD, an arts centre in Derby.

Hurt was announced as patron of Norwich Cinema City in March 2013.[40]

University degrees and appointments

In January 2002, Hurt received an honorary degree from the University of Derby.

In January 2006 he received an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from the University of Hull.

In 2012 he was appointed the first Chancellor of Norwich University of the Arts.[41][42]

On 23 January 2013 he was made an Honorary Doctor of Arts by the University of Lincoln, at Lincoln Cathedral.[43]



Year Title Role Notes
1962 Wild and the Willing, TheThe Wild and the Willing Phil
1963 Contact, TheThe Contact Max
1964 This Is My Street Charlie
1966 Man for All Seasons, AA Man for All Seasons Richard Rich
1967 Sailor from Gibraltar, TheThe Sailor from Gibraltar John
1969 In Search of Gregory Daniel
1969 Sinful Davey Davey Haggart
1969 Before Winter Comes Lieutenant Pilkington
1971 Mr. Forbush and the Penguins Richard Forbush
1971 10 Rillington Place Timothy John Evans Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
1972 Pied Piper, TheThe Pied Piper Franz
1974 Little Malcolm Malcolm Scrawdyke
1975 Ghoul, TheThe Ghoul Tom Rawlings
1975 Linea del fiume, LaLa Linea del fiume Chandler
1977 East of Elephant Rock Nash
1977 Three Dangerous Ladies Lt. Simmonds
1977 The Disappearance Atkinson
1978 Watership Down Hazel Voice role
1978 Shout, TheThe Shout Anthony Fielding
1978 Midnight Express Max Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
1978 Lord of the Rings, TheThe Lord of the Rings Aragorn Voice role
1979 Alien Kane DVDX Award for Best Audio Commentary (New for DVD) (2003 re-issue in Alien Quadrilogy, shared with Ridley Scott, Ronald Shusett, Terry Rawlings, Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, Veronica Cartwright and Harry Dean Stanton)
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
1980 Elephant Man, TheThe Elephant Man John Merrick BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated – Utah Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
1980 Heaven's Gate Billy Irvine
1981 Night Crossing Peter Strelzyk
1981 History of the World, Part I Jesus Christ
1982 Partners Kerwin
1982 Plague Dogs, TheThe Plague Dogs Snitter Voice
1983 Osterman Weekend, TheThe Osterman Weekend Lawrence Fassett
1984 Champions Bob Champion Evening Standard British Film Awards for Best Actor
1984 Success Is the Best Revenge Dino Montecurva
1984 Hit, TheThe Hit Braddock Evening Standard British Film Awards for Best Actor
Mystfest for Best Actor (shared with: Terence Stamp and Tim Roth)
1984 Nineteen Eighty-Four Winston Smith Evening Standard British Film Awards for Best Actor
Fantasporto for Best Actor (tied with Eddy Mitchell for Frankenstein 90)
Valladolid International Film Festival for Best Actor (tied with Richard Burton)
1985 After Darkness Peter Hunningford Entered into the 35th Berlin International Film Festival
1985 Black Cauldron, TheThe Black Cauldron The Horned King Voice
1986 Jake Speed Sid
1987 Hunting of the Snark, TheThe Hunting of the Snark Narrator Voice
1987 Rocinante Bill
1987 From the Hip Douglas Benoit
1987 Spaceballs Kane Cameo of his Alien (1979) character 'Kane', humorously self-parodied with the line: "Oh no... Not again!"
1987 Aria The Actor Segment "I pagliacci"
1987 Vincent Narrator (Vincent van Gogh's letters to his brother) Voice
1987 White Mischief Gilbert Colvile
1988 Bengali Night, TheThe Bengali Night Lucien Metz
1989 Scandal Stephen Ward
1989 Little Sweetheart Robert Burger
1990 Romeo-Juliet La Dame aux Chats
1990 Windprints Charles Rutherford
1990 The Field Bird O'Donnell Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
1990 Frankenstein Unbound Dr. Joe Buchanan
1991 I Dreamt I Woke Up John Boorman's Alter Ego
1991 King Ralph Lord Percival Graves
1992 Lapse of Memory Conrad Farmer
1993 Kölcsönkapott idő Sean
1993 L'Oeil qui ment Anthony / Le Marquis
1993 Monolith Villano
1993 Even Cowgirls Get the Blues The Countess
1994 Rabbit Ears: Aladdin and the Magic Lamp Storyteller Direct-to-video release
1994 Thumbelina Mr. Mole Voice only
1994 Second Best Uncle Turpin
1995 Two Nudes Bathing Marquis de Prey
1995 Saigon Baby Jack Lee
1995 Rob Roy John Graham, Marquis of Montrose
1995 Dead Man John Scholfield
1995 Wild Bill Charley Prince
1997 Tender Loving Care Dr. Turner Interactive CD-ROM film
1997 Love and Death on Long Island Giles De'Ath FIPRESCI Prize – Special Mention of Chicago International Film Festival (shared with: Richard Kwietniowski)
Nominated – British Independent Film Awards for Best Performance by a British Actor in an Independent Film
1997 Contact S.R. Hadden
1997 Bandyta Babits
1998 The Commissioner James Morton Entered into the 48th Berlin International Film Festival
1998 Night Train Michael Poole Verona Love Screens Film Festival for Best Actor
1998 All the Little Animals Mr. Summers
1999 Climb, TheThe Climb Chuck Langer
1999 New Blood Alan White
1999 Monkey's Tale, AA Monkey's Tale Sebastian English dub of French film Le Château des singes
1999 If... Dog... Rabbit... Sean Cooper
1999 You're Dead... Maitland
2000 Tigger Movie, TheThe Tigger Movie Narrator Voice
2000 Lost Souls Father Lareaux
2001 Tabloid Vince
2001 Captain Corelli's Mandolin Dr. Iannis
2001 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Mr. Ollivander
2002 Miranda Christian
2002 Crime and Punishment Porfiry
2003 Owning Mahowny Victor Foss
2003 Meeting Che Guevara & the Man from Maybury Hill Man from Maybury Hill
2003 Dogville Narrator Voice
2004 Hellboy Professor Trevor "Broom" Bruttenholm
2004 Pride Harry Voice
2005 Short Order Felix
2005 Valiant Felix Voice
2005 Proposition, TheThe Proposition Jellon Lamb Nominated – Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
2005 Shooting Dogs Christopher
2005 Manderlay Narrator Voice
2005 Skeleton Key, TheThe Skeleton Key Ben Devereaux
2006 V for Vendetta Adam Sutler
2006 Perfume: The Story of a Murderer Narrator Voice
2007 Boxes Le père de Fanny
2008 Outlander Hrothgar
2008 Oxford Murders, TheThe Oxford Murders Arthur Seldom
2008 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Dr. Harold Oxley
2008 Hellboy II: The Golden Army Professor Trevor 'Broom' Bruttenholm Cameo
2008 Lecture 21 Mondrian Kilroy
2009 Limits of Control, TheThe Limits of Control Guitar
2009 New York, I Love You Waiter
2009 44 Inch Chest Old Man Peanut Nominated – London Film Critics' Circle for Best British Supporting Actor
2010 Lou Doyle
2010 Ultramarines: The Movie Carnak Voice
2010 Brighton Rock Phil Corkery
2010 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 Mr. Ollivander
2011 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Mr. Ollivander
2011 In Love with Alma Cogan Master of Ceremonies
2011 Melancholia Dexter
2011 Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Control Nominated — Denver Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
Nominated — International Cinephile Society Award for Best Cast (runner-up)
2011 Immortals Old man/Narrator
2012 Jayne Mansfield's Car Kingsley Bedford
2013 Charlie Countryman Narrator Voice. Hurt's narration was in the original version of the film shown at the Sundance Festival, but subsequently the film was re-edited and the narration removed (though it is available as an 'extra' on the Blu-ray release).[44][45][46]
2013 Only Lovers Left Alive Marlowe
2013 Snowpiercer Gilliam
2013 More Than Honey Narrator Voice; documentary
2013 Benjamin Britten – Peace and Conflict Narrator
2014 Hercules Cotys, King of Thrace
2015 The Absinthe Drinkers Antonio Argenti Filming
2015 Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure Sailor John Voice
2016 Tarzan In post-production
2016 The Journey Harry Patterson Filming


Year Title Role Notes
1961 Drama 61–67 Private Briggs Episode 1.16: "Drama '61: Local Incident"
1962 Z-Cars James Hogan Episode 1.29: "Assault"
1963 First Night Garry Episode 1.12: "Menace"
1964 Armchair Theatre Unknown Episode 4.102: "A Jug of Bread"
1964 Thursday Theatre Orpheus Episode 1.11: "Point of Departure"
1964–1965 ITV Play of the Week Various characters Appeared in three episodes
1965 Gideon's Way Freddy Tinsdale Episode 1.14: "The Tin God"
1973 Wessex Tales Joshua Harlborough Episode 1.3: "A Tragedy of Two Ambitions"
1974 Playboy of the Western World, TheThe Playboy of the Western World Christopher "Christy" Mahon Television film
1975 Naked Civil Servant, TheThe Naked Civil Servant Quentin Crisp Television film
British Academy Television Award for Best Actor; #4 in BFI TV 100
1976 Shades of Greene Fred Episode 2.6: "A Drive in the Country"
1976 Play for Today Alec Cassell Episode 6.22: "The Peddler"
1976 Sweeney, TheThe Sweeney Tony Grey Episode 3.4: "Tomorrow Man"
1976 I, Claudius Caligula TV mini-series
1977 Spectre Mitri Cyon Television film
1979 Crime and Punishment Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov TV mini-series
1983 King Lear The Fool Television film
1988 Deadline Granville Jones
1988 Storyteller, TheThe Storyteller The Storyteller Appeared in all nine first series episodes
1990 Investigation: Inside a Terrorist Bombing, TheThe Investigation: Inside a Terrorist Bombing Chris Mullin Television film
1991 Journey to Knock Alfred
1991 Red Fox Archie Carpenter TV mini-series
1992 Six Characters in Search of an Author The Father Television film
1993 Great Moments in Aviation Rex Goodyear
1994 Picture Windows TV mini-series
1995 Prisoners in Time Eric Lomax
1999–2000 Watership Down General Woundwort Series 1 and 2 only; voice
2001 Beckett on FilmKrapp's Last Tape Krapp Television film
2002 Bait Jack Blake
2004 Alan Clark Diaries, TheThe Alan Clark Diaries Alan Clark TV serial
2004 Pride Harry Television film; voice
2005 Hiroshima Narrator Voice
2007 Hellboy: Blood and Iron Professor Trevor 'Broom' Bruttenholm Television film; voice
2007 Masters of Science Fiction Samswope Episode 1.4: "The Discarded"
2008 Recount Warren Christopher Television film
2008–2012 Merlin The Great Dragon, Kilgharrah Voice; does not appear in every episode, yet is credited in the opening title sequence for each episode. Also provides the narrative voice at the start of the title sequence.
2009 Gruffalo, TheThe Gruffalo The Owl Television film (children's), voice
2009 Englishman in New York, AnAn Englishman in New York Quentin Crisp Television film
Berlin International Film FestivalTeddy Award
Nominated – British Academy Television Award for Best Actor
2010 Whistle and I'll Come to You James Parkin Television film
2010 Human Planet Narrator Documentary
2011 Harry's Arctic Heroes Narrator
2011 Planet Dinosaur Narrator
2011 Gruffalo's Child, TheThe Gruffalo's Child[47] The Owl Television film (children's), voice
2012 Labyrinth Audric Baillard TV miniseries
2012 Hollow Crown: Henry V, TheThe Hollow Crown: Henry V The Chorus Television film
2012 Playhouse Presents The Ministry Voice; one episode
2013 Doctor Who The Doctor Episodes "The Name of the Doctor", "The Night of the Doctor", and "The Day of the Doctor"
2014 The Strain Professor Abraham Setrakian Unaired pilot episode only; replaced by David Bradley in series.

Video games

Other projects and contributions

  • When Love Speaks (2002, EMI Classics) – "Sonnet 145"
    ("Those lips that Love's own hand did make")
  • Hurt performs in drag for the promotional video for Attitude by the music group Suede.
  • Hurt is seen as the 'Brian Epstein' esque mogul in Paul McCartney's 1982 video for his song "Take It Away". McCartney explains in the video commentary section of The McCartney Years DVD (for the song 'Take it Away') that Hurt himself was a friend of the Beatles and Brian Epstein, and that the Beatles had watched Hurt act in the mid-'60s and thought him a fine actor.
  • Hurt is the narrator of the 1995 Discovery Channel documentary On Jupiter.[48][49]
  • Narrator on the album The Seduction of Claude Debussy by the band Art of Noise (1999).
  • Hurt is the narrator of the 4 part series The Universe for Channel 4 International, released in 1999 and available on DVD.
  • Hurt co-starred alongside Kiefer Sutherland in the 10 part web series The Confession.
  • A line from the movie Nineteen Eighty-Four, featuring the voice of Hurt can be heard as the introduction to the Manic Street Preachers song "Faster"
  • In two volumes of a documentary called Life in the Animal Kingdom: Untamed Africa, filmed in the Maasai Mara Game Preserve in Kenya (the two volumes being called Hunter and Hunted and Survival on the Serengeti), Hurt served as the narrator.
  • Benjamin Britten – Peace and Conflict, a British feature film written and directed by Tony Britten - narrator.[50]
  • Narrator for the BBC 5 live documentary "The day we won Wimbledon."[51]
  • Narrator of the Mercedes F1 Team video ad based on the poem "If-" by Rudyard Kipling.[52]
  • Hurt voiced an unseen character in the short The Alchemist's Letter by Carlos Andre Stevens.[53]
  • Following on from Hurt's role of The War Doctor in Doctor Who, he will voice the character in four sets from Big Finish Productions beginning in December 2015.


  1. ^ HURT, John.   (subscription required)
  2. ^ "John Hurt Biography: Film Actor, Theater Actor, Television Actor (1940–)".  
  3. ^ Jones, Paul. """Doctor Who 50th anniversary: John Hurt to play "part of the Doctor. Radio Times. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  4. ^ Tobin, Christian. "John Hurt teases 'Doctor Who' 50th anniversary special role". Digital Spy. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  5. ^ Sources that refer to the final scene of Hurt's character in Alien as one of the most memorable in cinematic history include these:
    • "100 Greatest Scary Moments". 25 October 2003. 50 minutes in.  
    • Kermode, Mark (19 October 2003). "All fright on the night". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 1 February 2010. 
    • "Scariest movie scenes ever".  
    • Green, Graeme. "John Hurt talks Harry Potter, flamenco and chestbursters".  
    • "The 100 Scariest Movie Moments". Bravo. Archived from the original on 30 October 2007. Retrieved 29 May 2010. 
    • "The making of Alien's chestburster scene". The Guardian (UK). 13 October 2009. Retrieved 18 January 2010. 
  6. ^ "John Hurt – Biography".  
  7. ^ "John Hurt 'thrilled' with Bafta lifetime achievement honour". BBC News. Retrieved 13 April 2015. 
  8. ^ England and Wales Birth records Retrieved 23 August 2014
  9. ^ "John Hurt Biography (1940–)". Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  10. ^ "BBC Radio Derby". Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  11. ^ a b "The Guardian Interview: John Hurt". The Guardian (UK). 1 July 2000. Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  12. ^ "History of St Michael's School". Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  13. ^ Sholto Byrnes (16 October 2005). "John Hurt: I was abused, too". Independent on Sunday (London). Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  14. ^ Rob Sharp (19 April 2008). Central Saint Martins: The art and soul of Britain. The Independent (London). Retrieved July 2013.
  15. ^ "BFI Screenonline: AIDS: Iceberg / Tombstone". Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  16. ^ "IESB First Look: Indy IV Looks Back at the Original Trilogy" (Video). IESB. 1 May 2008. Retrieved 1 May 2008. 
  17. ^ "Actor Hurt to reprise Crisp role". BBC News. 29 April 2008. Retrieved 6 May 2010. 
  18. ^ "John Hurt on 1984". National Media Museum. Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  19. ^ Rayner, Gordon (3 July 2013). "Doctor Who's new adversary - the Prince of Wales". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ "'"Ben Kinglsey & John Hurt for Neil Jordan – John Boorman's 'Broken Dream. IFTN. Retrieved 15 April 2011. 
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