Oscar-winning actor William Hurt has died after a battle with prostate cancer that spread to the bone. His son, Will Hurt, announced his father ultimately died of natural causes just a week before his birthday.
“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. He died peacefully, among family, of natural causes. The family requests privacy at this time,” his son wrote in a statement.
Born March 20, 1950, Hurt was a Juilliard-trained actor who got his break in the 1980s, starring in movies like Altered States, Body Heat, The Big Chill, Broadcast News, and more. Right in the midst of this spree, in 1985, Hurt won acting’s greatest honor. He won the Best Actor Oscar for his role in Kiss of the Spider Woman, in which he played a gay man in a Brazilian prison working with officials to get information out of the revolutionary leader in his cell.
That wasn’t his only Oscar moment. He was also nominated for his work in Children of a Lesser God, Broadcast News, and A History of Violence.
A reluctant celebrity, Hurt lamented the downside of fame in a 1989 interview with the New York Times. “It’s not right that my privacy is invaded to the extent that it is,” Hurt said. “I’m a very private man, and I have the right to be. I never said that because I was an actor you can have my privacy, you can steal my soul. You can’t.”
Still, he continued to work steadily, and younger audiences got to know him as General Thaddeus Ross in five Marvel superhero movies, starting with The Incredible Hulk in 2008 and ending with last year’s Black Widow.
Hurt is survived by two ex-wives, actress Mary Beth Hurt and Heidi Henderson, and four children. Our thoughts are with his family at this time.