The Incredible Career of John Hurt – A DFTG Writer Tribute

It seemed that 2016 took so many influential entertainers from us. Legends in their crafts from film, to television, and even the music that fuels our souls. We may not know these individuals personally, but their art influences us, sometimes without us even knowing it. While 2016 may have been one of the saddest in terms of these incredible artists passing on, 2017 is already off to a heartbreaking start. On January 27, 2017, beloved actor John Hurt has passed at 77 years old.

Sir John Vincent Hurt had an extensive career in theater, television, and films worldwide. For six decades Hurt has played a full spectrum of roles ranging from a deep space cargo crew member,a dragon, the adoptive father of a demon, and even a time traveling Doctor. If you’re a fan of films and television, chances are you’ve probably seen John Hurt in several projects throughout his many accomplished years as an entertainer. Some of his roles will be forever remembered by fans of generations past, present, and future.

John Hurt Alien

Hurt’s career began in the early 60’s. The spotlight began with his role of Richard Rich in the 1966 film A Man for All Seasons. From there, Hurt would star in various movies and TV series until one role landed him immortality within the world of science fiction. One of Hurt’s most iconic scenes happened aboard a spacecraft in deep space with a small crew and a terrifying monster. In 1979, Director Ridley Scott tapped into the fear of the unknown with the sci-fi horror film AlienJohn Hurt starred as Executive Officer Hurt aboard the commercial spacecraft “Nostromo.” John Hurt’s “chest burster” scene will forever be a monumental pillar of science fiction horror. Audiences everywhere, old and new, are still shocked and terrified when watching that scene for the first time. Hurt even revisited the classic scene with his friend Mel Brooks in Spaceballs. In Brooks’ spoof of some of the biggest sci-fi films, John Hurt once again has an alien life form force its way out of his chest cavity, only this time the alien breaks into a song and dance number. This was not the first film Hurt did with Mel Brooks, in 1981, he took on the role of Jesus in Brooks’ History of the World: Part I.

In recent years, John Hurt has had a presence in multiple high fan base projects. In 2004’s HellboyHurt portrayed Professor Trevor Bruttenholm, who took Hellboy in and raised him like a son. Hurt also played the villainous Adam Sutler opposite of Hugo Weaving in V for Vendetta, showing that as lovable as Hurt was, he could still play a wicked villain. His role as Chancellor Sutler showed the full range of his acting abilities. Hurt’s range goes from tyrannical leader to a cowering man at the hands of the film’s hero, both done to perfection. You can see his “They need us!” speech from V for Vendetta below:

Not only could he play a villain, but he was also the voice of the Great Dragon in the hit BBC series Merlin. Let us not forget his role in the world of the famous wizard Harry Potter, as he played Ollivander, the wandmaker.After a long career in theater, television, and movies, John Hurt gained a whole new group of fans across the planet. In celebration of the the 50th anniversary of the worldwide phenomena known as Doctor Who, John Hurt played the War Doctor. After the episode ran, Hurt found himself in a whole new world of fandom. In an interview, Hurt spoke about his new fame among one of the largest television show fan bases in the world:

“I’ve done a couple of conferences where you sit and sign autographs for people and then you have photographs taken with them and a lot of them all dressed up in alien suits or Doctor Who whatevers. I was terrified of doing it because I thought they’d all be loonies, but they are absolutely, totally charming as anything. It’s great fun. I’m not saying it’s the healthiest thing – I don’t know whether it is or isn’t – but they are very charming.”

John Hurt War Doctor

John Hurt starred in over 150 TV series and/or films throughout his career. While we have only touched on just a small fraction of what he has accomplished, John Hurt’s legacy will live on for many more generations. The world is a little less bright due to his passing, but he will forever be remembered through the everlasting archives of film and television. We here at DFTG offer our condolences to the family, friends, and fans across the globe. Rest in peace, Sir John Vincent Hurt.

Jon McAnally376 Posts

Hailing from the armpit of California, this most radical of nerds loves video games, comics, and collectibles (not dolls). Prepare to feast your eyes on the magical wonder that is his editorials.


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