How did William Hurt die? Oscar-winning actor dies one week before 72nd birthday

William Hurt was nominated for an Academy Award for best actor three years in a row in the 1980s and won for 'Kiss of the Spider Woman'


                            How did William Hurt die? Oscar-winning actor dies one week before 72nd birthday
William Hurt was known for his performances in 'Body Heat' and 'Gorky Park' (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)
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Oscar-winning actor William Hurt, who starred in famous flicks like 'The Big Chill', 'Broadcast News', and 'Children of a Lesser God', died on Sunday, March 13, aged 71. “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,’’ the actor’s son William said in a statement. “He died peacefully, among family, of natural causes. The family requests privacy at this time.”

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Hurt, born in Washington, DC, attended Tufts University and later the Juilliard School. He was nominated for an Academy Award for best actor three years in a row in the 1980s. He won the trophy for his memorable role in 'Kiss of the Spider Woman'. Besides Hurt, the only other actors who had three consecutive best actor nods are Paul Muni, Spencer Tracy, Gregory Peck, Marlon Brando, Richard Burton, Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson and Russell Crowe. Hollywood just last month mourned the deaths of 'Law and Order' star Ned Eisenberg, 'M*A*S*H' actress Sally Kellerman and Oscar-winning editor David Brenner.

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The Oscar winner's first big role was in Ken Russell’s 'Altered States'. He is also well known for his performances in 'Body Heat' and 'Gorky Park'. He appeared more recently in 'The Incredible Hulk', 'Captain America: Civil War', 'Avengers: Infinity War', 'Avengers: Endgame' and “Black Widow'. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe he played General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross.

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Actor William Hurt and family arrive to the 78th Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre on March 5, 2006 in Hollywood, California. (Getty Images)

Hurt was married twice, to Mary Beth Hurt from 1971 to 1982 and Heidi Henderson from 1989 to 1992. He also had high-profile relationships with Matlin, Sandra Jennings and Sandrine Bonnaire. In a 2009 memoir, Matlin described being physical and emotional abuse by Hurt during their relationship. Hurt said later: “I did and do apologise for any pain I caused.”

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'Immense talent'

Condolences poured in social media from celebrities and fans after news of the actor's death surfaced. "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 wrote on Twitter. "Very sorry to hear about the passing of William Hurt. He was a fine actor, an Academy Award winner. He also did a classic reading of my story "Low Men in Yellow Coats," from HEARTS IN ATLANTIS. I loved hitchhiking on his immense talent," Stephen King wrote. George Takei commented, "Saddened to hear of the passing of actor William Hurt. He broke the mold in his Oscar-winning role in Kiss of the Spider Woman, broke smiles in Broadcast News, and broke our hearts in The Accidental Tourist. A great loss to the world. Rest among the stars now, good sir."

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"How good was William Hurt? He got an Oscar nomination for 5 minutes of screen time in A History of Violence. And if you’re ready for a mind f*** watch Altered States. Rest In Peace," wrote a fan. "Rest In Peace, William Hurt. One of my favorites of all time," another user wrote. One user said, "This one hurts a lot. I love The Incredible Hulk; it was one of my favorite superhero films as a kid. Seeing William Hurt return as Ross in Civil War was great. So, this news is honestly too shocking to be real. Rest In Peace, General."

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