Alien star John Hurt has passed away today at the age of 77. He had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer back in 2015, but at this time we’re unsure if that was the cause of death. The actor is survived by Anwen Rees-Myers, his wife of 12 years, and his two sons, Alexander and Nicholas.
The British film legend was a beloved, Academy Award-nominated talent with an incredibly accomplished career spanning six decades. Notable credits include V For Vendetta, Midnight Express, The Elephant Man, Harry Potter, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (a personal favorite of mine) and many, many more. So well recognized was Hurt that he even received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II in 2014 for his tremendous work.
Born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire in 1940, he was the youngest of three children. Though he wasn’t allowed to see movies when he was younger, at the age of eight he was sent to religious school and it was there that he saw Alec Guiness in Oliver Twist, which inspired him to pursue his eventual profession.
Though he’s known for countless roles, it’s perhaps his iconic scene in Alien that people will remember him most for, as he helped bring to life one of the most terrifying moments in all of cinema. Of course, we’re referring to the chestburster scene from Ridley Scott’s classic sci-fi film and if you want to relive it, we’ve got it embedded for you below:
The actor had four projects in development at the time of his death, That Good Night, Damascus Cover, My Name is Lenny, and Darkness Hour, and it’s believed that he had completed shooting on all of them.
A real legend in the world of cinema and someone that many held near and dear to their hearts, John Hurt will certainly be missed.