Distinctive-voiced actor was Oscar nominated for Midnight Express and the Elephant Man, as well as being the victim of the notorious chestburster in Alien
John Hurt, the widely-admired English actor who rose to fame playing flamboyant gay icon Quentin Crisp, has died aged 77.
On Saturday, his agent, Charles McDonald, confirmed his death on Friday in London.
Hurts role in the made-for-TV film The Naked Civil Servant, first broadcast on ITV in 1975 as well as its 2009 follow-up, An Englishman in New York identified him with Crisp, whose transgressive public behaviour had made him a pioneer in altering public attitudes to homosexuality in the late 1960s and early 70s.
Hurt told the Guardian he had been warned not to do it they said youll never work again, but in the event it proved a rousing success; Hurt won several awards, and it transformed him from a mercurial supporting player in films such as 10 Rillington Place, where he played Timothy Evans. the hapless neighbour of Richard Attenboroughs thoroughly creepy serial killer John Christie to a genuine international star.
Born in 1940 to an Anglican clergyman father and an engineering draughtswoman mother, Hurt grew up in Woodville in Derbyshire before being sent to school in Kent, where he later revealed he had been sexually abused by the headmaster. He later moved to a school in Grimsby, before a spell at art college and then Rada (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art). Having worked his way up through TV bit parts and theatre, his first significant role was in the 1966 film of A Man For All Seasons, as Richard Rich.
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