R.I.P. William Hurt, Oscar-Winning Actor Dead at 71

Hurt was recognized for his performances in films like Kiss of the Spider Woman, Broadcast News, and A History of Violence

William Hurt death
William Hurt, photo by by Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

    William Hurt, the acclaimed actor who received an Academy Award for his performance in 1985’s Kiss of the Spider Woman, has died at the age of 71.

    Variety was first to report news of Hurt’s passing. According to his friend Gerry Byrne, Hurt passed away Sunday (March 13th) from natural causes.

    Hurt also received Oscar nominations for his work in the films Children of a Lesser God, Broadcast News, and A History of Violence. His other notable roles included films like Body Heat, The Good Shepherd, and Into the Wild. He also portrayed General Thunderbolt Ross in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.


    A Juilliard-trained actor, Hurt received acclaim from the very beginning of his storied career. His debut performance in the 1980 film Altered States earned him a Golden Globe nomination for New Star of the Year. He followed that up in 1981 with a leading role in the neo noir erotic thriller Body Heat opposite Kathleen Turner – propelling both actors to Hollywood A-list status.

    Between 1985 and 1987, Hurt received three consecutive Oscar nominations for Best Actor. He took home the trophy for his portrayal of Luis Molina, an effeminate homosexual in prison for raping an underage boy, in Héctor Babenco’s 1985 film Kiss of the Spider Woman. He was nominated again in 1986 for Children of a Lesser God, and in 1987 for Broadcast News.

    Hurt received his fourth and final Oscar nomination in 2005’s A History of Violence for his brief but powerful performance as mob boss Richie Cusack.


    As General Thunderbolt Ross in the MCU, Hurt appeared in films like Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, and Black Widow.

    Hurt was also honored for his working on television, picking up Emmy nominations for his roles on FX thriller Damages and the HBO TV film Too Big To Fail.

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