JOHN HURT, OXFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND, AUGUST, 1980
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David Steen: “The Elephant Man, a sad story about a deformed man, rescued from a fairground freak show to become a member of fashionable society, was generating a lot of publicity. I went to John’s home to photograph him, he was living alone at the time, his marriage over. I feel that windows are emotive – peering through them, looking for something, waiting for someone. John, standing by that window gave the feeling he was either looking into the future, or looking back on past problems. The eyes are the mirrors of the soul…that is certainly true of John Hurt.
I took the photograph and expected him to walk away, but he just stood there, frozen in thought.”
John Vincent Hurt, CBE (born 22 January 1940) is an English actor. Among other honours, he has received a Golden Globe Award and four BAFTA Awards, with two and six nominations respectively, as well as two Academy Award nominations.
Hurt is known for his leading roles as Joseph Merrick (billed as John Merrick) in The Elephant Man, Winston Smith in Nineteen Eighty-Four, Mr. Braddock in The Hit, Stephen Ward in Scandal and Quentin Crisp in The Naked Civil Servant and An Englishman in New York. Recognizable for his distinctive rich voice, he has also enjoyed a successful voice acting career, starring in films such as Watership Down, The Lord of the Rings and Dogville, as well as BBC television series Merlin.
Hurt initially came to prominence for his role as Richard Rich in the 1966 film A Man for All Seasons and has since appeared in such popular motion pictures as: Alien, Midnight Express, Rob Roy, V for Vendetta, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the first, penultimate and last Harry Potter films, the Hellboy film series, and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Hurt is one of England’s best-known, most prolific and sought-after actors and has had a versatile film career spanning six decades. He is also known for his many Shakespearean roles. His character’s final scene in Alien is consistently named as one of the most memorable in cinematic history.
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