CINEMA: Oscar Winner actor William Hurt Dies, Aged 71.

William Hurt, who won an Oscar for Kiss Of The Spi­der Woman and who earned a rep­u­ta­tion as an intense, skilled actor, has died. He was 71.

Born William McChord Hurt in Wash­ing­ton, DC in 1950, his ear­ly years were spent in Guam and Hawaii as his father worked for the State Department’s Agency for Inter­na­tion­al Development.

His par­ents divorced when he was six, and the young Hurt moved to New York with his moth­er. The­atre was his ini­tial gate­way to per­form­ing, appear­ing in plays at the Mid­dle­sex School in Mass­a­chu­setts. Fol­low­ing his stud­ies in The­ol­o­gy at Tufts Uni­ver­si­ty, he stud­ied the­atre in Eng­land with then-wife Mary Beth Hurt, and, upon his return to Amer­i­ca, scored accep­tance to the pres­ti­gious Juil­liard school, where class­mates includ­ed Christo­pher Reeve, Robin Williams and Mandy Patinkin.

Hurt’s first film role was a mem­o­rable one, play­ing an obsessed psy­chol­o­gist in Ken Rus­sel­l’s Altered States. Noir thriller Body Heat fol­lowed, estab­lish­ing him as a sol­id tal­ent in lead roles, while 1983’s The Big Chill proved he could also impress in ensem­bles. It also forged a sol­id work­ing rela­tion­ship with direc­tor Lawrence Kasdan.

Yet it was his por­tray­al of Luis Moli­na, a trans­ves­tite win­dow dress­er locked in a South Amer­i­can jail cell with a mil­i­tant war­rior (Raul Julia) in 1985’s Kiss Of The Spi­der-Woman that saw him win the Acad­e­my Award, the film itself becom­ing an art­house sensation.

And he con­tin­ued to do excel­lent work, end­ing up nom­i­nat­ed again for Chil­dren Of A Less­er God in 1986 and Broad­cast News in 1987.

In a long, impres­sive career, Hurt appeared in many great films, includ­ing Dark City, A.I., A His­to­ry Of Vio­lence (for which he earned his fourth Oscar nom) and The Proposition.

Mar­vel fans, will of course know him as one the MCU’s longest-serv­ing sup­port­ing play­ers, hav­ing played Gen­er­al (lat­er Sec­re­tary of State Thad­deus “Thun­der­bolt” Ross) in a num­ber of films since The Incred­i­ble Hulk.

“I nev­er explain my movies — it just ruins the emo­tion,” Hurt once told The Wash­ing­ton Post. “I love say­ing that line. There is a point to explain­ing what I do, but at some point you just have to do it. The work is the best that I have to offer. That’s what I want to be elo­quent at.” There’s no deny­ing he was.

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