Oscar-winner William Hurt passes at 71

William Hurt (March 20, 1950 – March 13, 2022 CREDIT: Shutterstock)

Somber news for a Sunday. Academy Award-winning actor William Hurt, star of the Oscar-winning star of Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Big Chill, and Lost in Space, has died. His son, Will, told The Hollywood Reporter and Gerry Byrne, Hurt’s friend, confirmed the death to Variety. Hurt was 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 family said in a statement obtained by Variety. “He died peacefully, among family, of natural causes. The family requests privacy at this time.”

Hurt made his film debut in 1980 as a troubled scientist in eclectic director Ken Russell’s science-fiction feature Altered States, for which he received a Golden Globe nomination for New Star of the Year. 

Hurt received three consecutive Academy Awards nominations for Best Actor for Kiss of the Spider Woman (which he won), Children of a Lesser God, and Broadcast News. He was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor for A History of Violence.

Hurt also starred in the 1998 feature film adaptation of Irwin Allen’s 1960’s sci-fi series, Lost in Space.

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The Julliard graduate also became an integral part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Hurt first appeared as General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk. He returned as the new Secretary of State Ross in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War. He also appeared in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War and 2019’s Avengers: Endgame before his final appearance in last year’s Black Widow. There had been chatter about Hurt reviving the character for Disney+ and Marvel’s The Thunderbolts, where he would also take on the persona of Red Hulk.

He shared son Will as well as son Samuel, 32, with Heidi Henderson. He is also survived by son Alexander, 39, who the Washington, D.C. native shared with Sandra Jennings as well as daughter Jeanne, 28, whose mother is Sandrine Bonnaire.

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No cause of death was shared by the family. Hurt was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018.