the fresh films actors

S I N C E   1 9 9 7



William Hurt

FULL NAME William McChord Hurt
BORN 20 March 1950, Washington, DC, USA

13 March 2022, Portland, Oregon, USA (aged 71)

ASSOCIATION Actor (producer)
HEIGHT 188 cm




  • Aloof delve into character
  • Ability to convey constrained emotion



1980 Altered States Prof. Eddie Jessup


1981 Body Heat Ned Racine


1981 Eyewitness Darryl Deever


1983 The Big Chill Nick


1983 Gorky Park Arkady Renko


1985 Kiss of the Spider Woman Luis Molina

1986 Children of a Lesser God James Leeds

1987 Broadcast News Tom Grunick


1988 The Accidental Tourist Macon Leary


1990 I Love You to Death Harlan James


1991 Until the End of the World Trevor/Sam

1995 Smoke Paul Benjamin

1997 Loved K.D. Dietrickson


1998 Dark City Inspector Frank Bumstead

1998 One True Thing George Gulden


1999 The 4th Floor Greg Harrison


2001 A.I. Artificial Intelligence Prof. Allen Hobby

2004 The Village Edmund Walker

2005 The King Pastor David Sandow


2005 A History of Violence Richie Cusack


2005 Syriana Stan
2007 Mr. Brooks Marshall


2007 Into the Wild Walt McCandless

2008 Vantage Point President Ashton

2008 The Yellow Handkerchief Brett Hanson

2008 The Incredible Hulk Gen. Thaddeus Ross


2010 Robin Hood William Marshal

2011 Too Big to Fail (TV) Henry Paulson (Sec. of the Treasury)

2013 The Challenger (TV) Dr. Richard Feynman



I came late to William Hurt, probably for the simple reason that he wasn't the actor children stumbled over first. Always seeking the serious, thematically interesting, and often intellectual roles, Hurt has throughout his career gained a reputation for being perhaps overly professional and serious – something which fits good with his 'waspy' appearance. But underneath the seemingly inaccessible shell is a charming and life-loving performer who boasts great sense of humour – often sarcastic and ironic.

Getting into movies quite late, Hurt enjoyed an almost unbelievably successful decade in the 1980s, first breaking through with his debut performance in Altered States before going on to leading roles in back-to-back critical and commercial successes. From 1985 through 1987, he was Oscar-nominated for best lead actor in three consecutive years. The first of these, for Kiss of the Spider Woman, earned him best actor awards from nearly every award ceremony on the planet, including BAFTA, Cannes and David di Donatello in addition to the Oscars. He has constantly collaborated with Lawrence Kasdan, who first cast Hurt in his own directorial debut Body Heat, and then went on to direct another three films starring Hurt.

Approaching the mid to late 1990s, Hurt struggled to find equally challenging roles, and rarely leads. His brief position as a sex symbol was over, and he had to focus on character roles in supporting parts. In 2005, he was back at his very best and also back as an Oscars nominee with his 10-minute bravura performance in David Cronenberg's A History of Violence.

William Hurt has never given directing or writing a shot, and he has always kept a low profile in the public. He is known for being quite outspoken and philosophical, but despite being labelled a classic intellectual, some of his best performances have come with quite different characters (as in Body Heat), showing his versatility and ability, and perhaps suggesting that William Hurt, all in all, hasn't been given as many good roles as he should've been.



  • He and co-star Marlee Matlin started a three-year relationship while preparing for the filming of Children of a Lesser God. Hurt was then 35 and the deaf Matlin was 19.



The Academy Awards (Oscars)


Best Actor for Kiss of the Spider Woman


Nominated for Best Actor for Children of a Lesser God


Nominated for Best Actor for Broadcast News


Nominated for Best Supporting Actor for A History of Violence



Altered States (1980)

"(...) and Hurt, making his movie début, brings a cool, quivering untrustworthiness to his revved-up mad-scientist role" - Pauline Kael

The Accidental Tourist (1988)

"Hurt gives an exquisite performance as a man shattered by the death of his son (...)." - Pauline Kael

"What Hurt achieves here is almost impossible: He's depressed, low-key, and intensely private through most of the movie, and yet somehow he wins our sympathy." - Roger Ebert



Body Heat (1981)

Matty (Kathleen Turner): "You aren't too smart. I like that in a man."
Ned (William Hurt): "What else do you like? Lazy? Ugly? Horny? I got'em all." 
Matty (Kathleen Turner): "You don't look lazy."