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R.I.P. The Legendary John Hurt Has Died at 77

John Hurt spoofs his iconic Alien scene in Spaceballs

A huge loss to the world of film, and the world at large, as we’ve just learned that two-time Oscar nominee John Hurt has passed away at the age of 77. The actor was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last summer, and he lost his battle today, just five days after his 77th birthday.

In the horror world, Hurt was forever immortalized as Gilbert Kane in Ridley Scott’s Alien, the ill-fated officer who was impregnated by a Facehugger. In one of the most iconic and terrifying scenes in horror history, Kane literally gave birth to the film’s Xenomorph through his chest – a scene that still to this day is sure to make you jump, squirm, and maybe lose some sleep.

Hurt’s first appearance in the horror genre came courtesy of 1975’s The Ghoul, which saw him starring alongside the equally iconic Peter Cushing. Other genre films Hurt appeared in throughout his six-decade-long career(!) include Roger Corman’s Frankenstein Unbound, Hellboy, Hellboy 2: The Golden Army, and most recently, the critically acclaimed Snowpiercer.

Of course, it would be doing John Hurt a huge disservice to only mention his work in the horror genre. The actor, who began his career in 1962, scooped up Oscar nominations for his incredible performances in both Midnight Express and The Elephant Man, and he won a Golden Globe in 1979 for the former. Hurt’s 200+ acting credits in the worlds of film and television also include Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, V for Vendetta, and a film that holds a special place in my heart, King Ralph. If John Hurt was in a movie, you can be sure John Hurt made it better.

We’ll be revisiting Alien tonight in Hurt’s honor, that’s for sure. Godspeed, sir.



  • Fracassi

    Oh no. My heart breaks. Legendary. Absolutely legendary. Rest in peace knowing you have left an impression on many sir and your name will not be forgotten. I think that is the greatest thing we can do in our lifetimes – leave a lasting impression, even after death. My personal favorite performance is John Merrick in, “The Elephant Man.”

  • Munchie

    Had to happen eventually. I swear the guy looked 70 back *in* the 70s. RIP to a great actor. You’ll be missed.

  • OPensador89

    He was amazing in I, Claudius (1976). God bless his soul and my condolences to his family. 🙁

  • Leann Morris

    He was also in Watership Down the wonderful adaptation of that book and 1984 another adaptation of a book. Wow famous people are passing away left and right lately it’s crazy

    • Fracassi

      And The Plague Dogs 🙂

      • Leann Morris

        He was in Down he played Feifer the one that had the visions and told them to leave in the first place

        • Fracassi

          You are correct. I love Watership Down.

  • RKSDooM

    You were an amazing DOCTOR WHO, Mr. Hurt – in both your one appearance in the 50th Anniversary Special and in your audio appearances. You will be greatly missed.

  • Grimphantom

    Another one from fucking cancer! Just makes you want that blasted thing to disappear forever!
    R.I.P John Hurt

  • umaneo

    Damn it. So many great performances, from Alien to Elephant Man to Only Lovers Left Alive.

  • Dillon Robinson

    Shit. RIP. One of my favorite actors to have passed in a long time.

  • PsychoMantis18

    Sucks – all the good ones are dying.

  • shane

    well january can now fuck right off

  • This is tragic! From Alien through Whistle and I’ll come to you, John Hurt was a true star. RIP and godspeed indeed.

  • Man, what a loss!! Of course John was unforgettable as Kane in ‘Alien’. But, his performance in ‘The Elephant Man’ was so amazing that it moved me to tears as a child. I thought ‘The Elephant Man’ was one of the saddest movies ever made and his performance was timeless. What a talent!

    RIP John…

  • Fr0gg0

    Time moves so fast these days, although it still feels like you are about 10 years old because you don’t see the time fly by so fast, and it makes it feel so strange watching every star you’ve grown up with die.

    • Russell Reball

      I know right?

  • Satanzilla

    Had the rare privilege to meet this modest gentleman in 1987 and gave him a good laugh when I told him the chestburster scene was one of the most harrowing scenes in film history. I was perplexed and asked him why he was laughing and he said I’d see soon enough. A few months later Spaceballs came out!

  • gabriel

    Lance Henriksen is probably next dammit

  • Darren Kerr

    Possibly my all time favourite actor.
    You won’t see or hear a screen presence like that again.

  • The Fucked Up

    The one and only Storyteller… best place by the fire is now permanently his

  • C_ Bad

    Nooo. 🙁

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