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William Hurt

William Hurt (Male Celebrities)

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William B. Hurt (born Mar. 20, 1950 (71 years ago)) is an American actor. He won both the Academy and BAFTA Awards for his work in Kiss of the Spider Woman.

Early life

Hurt was born in Washington, D.C., the son of Claire Isabel (née McGill), who worked at Time, Inc., and Alfred McCord Hurt, who worked for the U.S. State Department. His parents divorced, and his mother married Henry Luce III (the son of the founder of Time Magazine) during Hurt's childhood. Hurt graduated from Middlesex School in 1968 (53 years ago) where he was vice president of the Dramatics Club and had the lead role in several of the school plays. His high school yearbook predicted, "With characteristics such as these, you might even see him on Broadway." Hurt attended Tufts University and studied theology, but turned instead to acting and joined the Juilliard Drama School studying alongside Christopher Reeve. He has received the nickname "bojangles" from several of his classmates at Juilliard.


Hurt appeared first on stage, only later turning to film. His first major role was in the sci-fi hit Altered States which gave him wide recognition for playing an obsessed scientist. His performance with Richard Crenna, Ted Danson, and newcomer Kathleen Turner in Lawrence Kasdan's neo-noir classic Body Heat elevated Hurt to stardom. He received the Best Male Performance Prize at the Cannes movie Festival and the Academy Award for Best Actor for Kiss of the Spider Woman for 1985 (36 years ago). He has received three additional Oscar nominations; one for Children of a Lesser God, one for Broadcast News and one (for Best Supporting Actor) in A History Of Violence.

Often cast as an intellectual, Hurt has put this to good use in many movies like Lost in Space and The Big Chill, but he is also effective in other kinds of roles, such as those in I Love You to Death, and David Cronenberg's psychological drama A History of Violence (2005, 16 years ago), wherein, with less than 10 minutes of screen time, he plays the creepy mob boss Richie Cusack. That same year, Hurt could be seen as a mysterious government operative in Stephen Gaghan's ensemble drama about the politics of big oil, Syriana.

Hurt has been seen in the mini-series adaptation of Stephen King's Nightmares and Dreamscapes, in a piece entitled Battleground. He plays "Renshaw", a hitman who receives a package from the widow of a toymaker he killed, unaware of what is waiting inside for him. [also notable for its complete lack of dialogue] He appeared in the cast of "Vanya", an adaptation of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya playing in the Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland, Oregon.

He appeared in Sean Penn's movie Into The Wild (9 pics), the true story of Christopher McCandless. Hurt next starred as General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross in The Incredible Hulk alongside Edward Norton (5 pics), Liv Tyler (64 pics) and Tim Roth. He also appeared as President Henry Ashton in the 2008 (13 years ago) action-thriller Vantage Point (9 pics). Hurt also played Mr Brooks' alter-ego in Mr. Brooks starring Kevin Costner.

In 2009 (12 years ago), Hurt began appearing as a series regular on the critically-acclaimed FX series Damages playing a corporate whistleblower opposite Glenn Close and Marcia Gay Harden.

Personal life

Hurt is fluent in French and maintains a home outside Paris. He was previously married to Mary Beth Hurt from 1971 (50 years ago) to 1982 (39 years ago).

In the 1980s, Hurt was involved in a lawsuit with Sandra Jennings which alleged that the two shared a common-law marriage. While he was still married, Hurt and Jennings began a relationship in Saratoga, New York in the summer of 1981 (40 years ago). Jennings became pregnant in the Spring of 1982 (39 years ago) which precipitated Hurt's divorce from Mary Beth Hurt, after which Hurt and Jennings relocated to South Carolina, which recognized common-law marriages. Hurt and Jennings, never officially married, later separated, and Jennings sued in New York, seeking a court order recognizing their purported common-law marriage under South Carolina law. The New York court, which did not recognize common-law marriage and was reluctant to recognize a common-law marriage originating in South Carolina, found in Hurt's favor that no common-law marriage existed.

Additionally, Hurt dated Marlee Matlin for two years, and they lived together during 1986 (35 years ago). In her 2009 (12 years ago) autobiographical book, I'll Scream Later, Matlin claimed their relationship involved considerable drug abuse and physical abuse by Hurt. In response to the accusations aired on CNN on Apr. 13, 2009 (12 years ago), Hurt's agent declined to respond. Hurt issued a statement on Apr. 14, 2009 (12 years ago), responding to Matlin's remarks. He stated "My own recollection is that we both apologized and both did a great deal to heal our lives. Of course, I did and do apologize for any pain I caused. And I know we have both grown. I wish Marlee and her family nothing but good."

Hurt has four children: Jeanne with actress Sandrine Bonnaire, Alex with Sandra Jennings and two sons, Sam and William Hurt, from his 1989-92 marriage to Heidi Henderson.




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