William Hurt, an Academy Award-winning actor whose career spanned decades, died on March 13 at the age of 71, according to a statement released to the media by his son.
“It is with great sadness that the Hurt family mourns the passing of William Hurt, beloved father, and Oscar-winning actor, on March 13, 2022, one week before his 72nd birthday,” his son Will wrote in the statement shared by Variety. “He died peacefully, among family, of natural causes. The family requests privacy at this time.”
Back in 2018, the family announced Hurt received a diagnosis of terminal prostate cancer that spread to the bone, according to Deadline, who first reported Hurt’s death on Sunday.
Hurt began his acclaimed film career in 1980 by playing a scientist in the movie “Altered States.” The role earned him a Golden Globe nomination for Best New Star of the Year. It wouldn’t take long for Hurt’s star to rise in Hollywood, though.
After starring in “Body Heat” with Kathleen Turner, and as part of an all-star ensemble in 1983’s “The Big Chill,” Hurt went on to have a three-year run of Oscar-nominated roles. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for the 1986 film “Kiss of the Spider Woman.” He followed up that win with two consecutive Oscar nominations for his performances in the 1987 film “Children of a Lesser God” and the 1988 movie “Broadcast News.”
Later in his career, Hurt shifted to supporting roles and recently portrayed General Thaddeus Ross in five Marvel films, including “The Incredible Hulk,” “Captain America: Civil War,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Avengers: Endgame” and “Black Widow.”
Following the news of Hurt’s death, celebrities shared their tributes and memories on social media.
Mark Ruffalo, who worked with Hurt in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, expressed his sadness over the actor’s death on Twitter.
Wow, another Major loss to the acting community. Great actor. Great mind. RIP https://t.co/aKu8NWLgaz
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) March 13, 2022
“Broadcast News” co-star Albert Brooks posted a tribute on his Twitter timeline, as well.
R.I.P. William Hurt. So sad to hear this news. Working with him on Broadcast News was amazing. He will be greatly missed.
— Albert Brooks (@AlbertBrooks) March 13, 2022
However, others shared their thoughts for Hurt’s “Children of a Lesser God” co-star Marlee Matlin, who accused the actor of physical and emotional abuse during their relationship in her memoir and in interviews (including this one with The Guardian).
“My own recollection is that we both apologized and both did a great deal to heal our lives,” he said in the statement. “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 is survived by his four children.