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Broadcast News, Body Heat, MCU Star William Hurt Passes Away

March 13, 2022 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
William Hurt Image Credit: Marvel Studios

William Hurt, the Oscar-winning actor known for his roles in Broadcast News, Body Heat, and the MCU among others, has passed away. THR reports that Hurt passed Sunday at his home in Portland, Oregon as confirmed by his son Will. He was 71 years old.

Many current fans would recognize Hurt best for his roll as Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross several Marvel Cinematic Universe films including The Incredible Hulk, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, and Black Widow. But long before he became one of the Hulk’s greatest detractors, he was dominating the big screen with an impressive run of hits in the 1980s that earned him three of his four Academy Award nominations and catapulted him into leading man status. Those films included Kiss of the Spider Woman, Children of a Lesser God, the aforementioned Broadcast News and Body Heat, and The Big Chill.

Hurt began his career in the late 1970s on the stage, leaving Julliard in 1975 to perform at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival as Edmund in A Long Day Journey’s Into Night. He then moved to New York City and became a member of the Circle Repertory Company in New York City, where he won an Obie Award, then made his onscreen debut on TV in a two-episode arc on Kojak.

It wasn’t long before he broke onto the big screen, starring in Ken Russell’s sci-fi horror film Altered States. That was followed up with a role in Eyewitness and then his breakthrough role as Ned Racine, the lawyer who gets manipulated by Kathleen Turner’s femme fatale in the neo-noir Body Heat. That began a string of the aforementioned hits for the actor and made him into a household name, with his role as Luis Molina in Kiss of the Spider Woman earning him the Best Actor Academy Award in 1986.

Hurt faded back a bit in the 1990s but still had several memorable films, including Woody Allen’s Alice, Stephen Hopkin’s Lost in Space remake, and Alex Proyas’ dark sci-fi noir Dark City. He made a comeback in the 2000s when he earned his fourth Oscar nomination for his work as Richie Cusack in A History of Violence.

Hurt worked regularly throughout his career and had roles in the likes of The Village, Syriana, Robin Hood, The Host, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Into the Wild, Vantage Point, and many more. He would gain his most prominent blockbuster role as Thunderbolt Ross in the MCU films.

Hurt also had a storied TV career, with roles such as Duke Leto in SyFy’s Dune miniseries, a supporting role in the critically-beloved Damages, the TV movie Endgame in 2009, and several 2010s shows like Humans, Beowulf, Goliath, and Condor. His last-shown film role was in The King’s Daughter, which released in January but had been filmed in 2014.

On behalf of 411, our condolences to the family, friends and many fans of Mr. Hurt. He will most certainly be missed in cinema.

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William Hurt, Jeremy Thomas