Hurt signing autographs at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival
|Born||William McChord Hurt
March 20, 1950
Washington, D.C., United States
|Spouse(s)||Mary Beth Hurt (1971–1982)
Heidi Henderson (1989–1992)
|Partner(s)||Sandra Jennings (1981–1984)
Marlee Matlin (1985–1986)
Sandrine Bonnaire (1992–1997)
William McChord Hurt (born March 20, 1950) is an American stage and film actor. He received his acting training at the Juilliard School, and began acting on stage in the 1970s. Hurt made his film debut as a troubled scientist in the science-fiction feature Altered States (1980), for which he received a Golden Globe nomination for New Star of the Year. He subsequently played a leading role, as a lawyer who succumbs to the temptations of Kathleen Turner, in the well-received neo noir Body Heat (1981).
In 1985, Hurt garnered substantial critical acclaim and multiple acting awards, including an Academy Award and a BAFTA Award for Best Actor, for portraying an effeminate gay man in Kiss of the Spider Woman. He received another two Academy Award nominations for his lead performances in Children of a Lesser God (1986) and Broadcast News (1987). Hurt remained an active stage actor throughout the 1980s, appearing in Off-Broadway productions, including Henry V, Fifth of July, Richard II, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Hurt received his first Tony Award nomination in 1985 for the Broadway production of Hurlyburly.
After playing a diversity of character roles in the following decade, Hurt earned his fourth Academy Award nomination for his supporting performance in David Cronenberg's crime thriller A History of Violence (2005). Other notable films in recent years have included A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), The Village (2004), Syriana (2005), The Good Shepherd (2006), Mr. Brooks (2007), Into the Wild (2007), The Incredible Hulk (2008), and Robin Hood (2010).
Hurt was born in Washington, D.C., the son of Claire Isabel (née McGill), who worked at Time, Inc., and Alfred McChord Hurt, who worked for the State Department. With his father, he lived in Lahore, Mogadishu, and Khartoum. After his parents divorced, his mother married Henry Luce III (a son of publisher Henry Luce) during Hurt's childhood. Hurt graduated from Middlesex School in 1968 where he was vice president of the Dramatics Club and had the lead role in several school plays. His high school yearbook predicted "With characteristics such as these, you might even see him on Broadway." Hurt attended Tufts University and studied theology, but turned instead to acting and joined the Juilliard School (Drama Division Group 5: 1972–1976). One of his classmates was actor Christopher Reeve.
Hurt appeared first on stage, only later turning to film. His first major film role was in the science fiction film Altered States which gave him wide recognition for playing an obsessed scientist. His performance with Richard Crenna, Ted Danson, and newcomer Kathleen Turner in Lawrence Kasdan's neo-noir classic Body Heat elevated Hurt to stardom. He received the Best Male Performance Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and the Academy Award for Best Actor for Kiss of the Spider Woman for 1985. He has received three additional Oscar nominations; one for Children of a Lesser God, one for Broadcast News and one (for Best Supporting Actor) in A History Of Violence. Hurt also starred in Tuck Everlasting as Angus Tuck.
Often cast as an intellectual, Hurt has put this to good use in films such as Lost in Space and The Big Chill, but he is also effective in other kinds of roles, such as those in I Love You to Death, and David Cronenberg's psychological drama A History of Violence (2005), wherein, with less than 10 minutes of screen time, he plays the creepy mob boss Richie Cusack. In 2005 Hurt was also seen as a mysterious government operative in Stephen Gaghan's ensemble drama about the politics of big oil, Syriana.
Hurt was in the mini-series adaptation of Stephen King's Nightmares and Dreamscapes, in a piece entitled Battleground (also notable for its complete lack of dialogue). He plays "Renshaw", a hitman who receives a package from the widow of a toymaker he killed, unaware of what is waiting inside for him. He appeared in the cast of Vanya, an adaptation of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, at the Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland, Oregon.
He appeared in Sean Penn's film Into the Wild, the true story of Christopher McCandless. Hurt next starred as General Thunderbolt Ross in The Incredible Hulk alongside Edward Norton, Liv Tyler and Tim Roth. He appeared as President Henry Ashton in the 2008 action-thriller Vantage Point. Hurt also played Mr. Brooks' alter-ego in Mr. Brooks starring Kevin Costner.
In 2009, Hurt became a series regular on the FX series Damages playing a corporate whistleblower opposite Glenn Close and Marcia Gay Harden. For his role in the series, Hurt earned a 2009 Primetime Emmy Award nomination in the "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series" category. Hurt's 2009 Sundance film The Yellow Handkerchief was released in theaters on February 26, 2010 by Samuel Goldwyn Films. He was in the Thailand-based 2011 thriller Hellgate alongside Cary Elwes and Paula Taylor, directed by John Penney.
In September 2010 Hurt played United States Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson in the HBO film Too Big to Fail, an adaptation of Andrew Ross Sorkin's book. He also starred as Captain Ahab in the 2011 television adaptation of Herman Melville's novel Moby-Dick; or, The Whale.
Hurt is fluent in French and maintains a home outside Paris. He is the step-grandson of Henry Luce, founder of Time magazine and actress-writer Clare Boothe Luce through his mother's marriage to Henry Luce's son from his first marriage, Henry Luce III. Hurt was married to Mary Beth Hurt from 1971 to 1982.
Hurt was involved in a 1980s lawsuit with Sandra Jennings, who alleged that the two shared a common-law marriage. While he was still married, Hurt and Jennings began a relationship in Saratoga Springs, New York, in 1981. Jennings became pregnant in the spring of 1982 which precipitated Hurt's divorce from Mary Beth Hurt, after which Hurt and Jennings relocated to South Carolina, a state that recognized common-law marriages. Hurt and Jennings, never officially married, later separated, and Jennings sued him in New York, seeking recognition of the "marriage" under South Carolina law. The New York court, which did not recognize common-law marriage and was reluctant to recognize a common-law marriage originating in South Carolina, found in Hurt's favor that no common-law marriage existed.
Hurt dated Marlee Matlin for one year, and they lived together for two years. In her 2009 autobiography, I'll Scream Later, Matlin claimed their relationship involved considerable drug abuse and physical abuse by Hurt. In response to the accusations aired on CNN on April 13, 2009, Hurt's agent declined to respond, but Hurt issued a statement the following day: "My own recollection is that we both apologized and both did a great deal to heal our lives. Of course, I did and do apologize for any pain I caused. And I know we have both grown. I wish Marlee and her family nothing but good."
During the filming of Kiss of the Spider Woman, Hurt and a friend were threatened at gunpoint but were let go several hours later.
|1978||Verna: U.S.O. Girl||Walter||Television movie|
|1980||Altered States||Edward Jessup, ProfessorProfessor Edward Jessup||Nominated – Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year - Actor|
|1981||Body Heat||Ned Racine|
|1983||Big Chill, TheThe Big Chill||Nick Carlton|
|1983||Gorky Park||Arkady Renko|
|1985||Kiss of the Spider Woman||Luis Alberto Molina||Academy Award for Best Actor
BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Best Actor Award (Cannes Film Festival)
David di Donatello Award for Best Foreign Actor
London Film Critics Circle Award for Actor of the Year
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
National Board of Review Award for Best Actor (tied with Raul Julia for the same film)
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor (2nd place)
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor (2nd place)
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
|1986||Children of a Lesser God||James Leeds||Joseph Plateau Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
|1987||Broadcast News||Tom Grunick||Nominated – Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
|1988||Time of Destiny, AA Time of Destiny||Martin Larraneta|
|1988||Accidental Tourist, TheThe Accidental Tourist||Macon Leary||Golden Horse Award for Best Foreign Actor|
|1990||I Love You to Death||Harlan James|
|1991||Until the End of the World||Sam Farber, alias Trevor McPhee|
|1991||Doctor, TheThe Doctor||Jack MacKee, Dr.Dr. Jack MacKee|
|1992||Plague, TheThe Plague||Bernard Rieux, DoctorDoctor Bernard Rieux|
|1994||Second Best||Graham Holt|
|1996||Couch in New York, AA Couch in New York||Henry Harriston|
|1996||Jane Eyre||Edward Fairfax Rochester|
|1998||Lost in Space||John Robinson, ProfessorProfessor John Robinson|
|1998||Dark City||Frank Bumstead, InspectorInspector Frank Bumstead|
|1998||One True Thing||George Gulden|
|1999||The 4th Floor||Greg Harrison|
|1999||Sunshine||Andor Knorr||Nominated – Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role|
|1999||Big Brass Ring, TheThe Big Brass Ring||William Blake Pellarin|
|1999||Do Not Disturb||Walter Richmond||a.k.a. Silent Witness|
|2000||Contaminated Man||David R. Whitman|
|2000||Miracle Maker, TheThe Miracle Maker||Jairus||Voice only|
|2001||A.I. Artificial Intelligence||Allen Hobby, ProfessorProfessor Allen Hobby|
|2001||Simian Line, TheThe Simian Line||Edward|
|2001||Varian's War||Varian Fry|
|2002||Tuck Everlasting||Angus Tuck|
|2002||Changing Lanes||Doyle Gipson's AA Sponsor|
|2002||Master Spy: The Robert Hanssen Story||Robert Hanssen||Television movie|
|2002||Nearest to Heaven (Au Plus Près du Paradis)||Matt|
|2004||Blue Butterfly, TheThe Blue Butterfly||Alan Osborne|
|2004||Village, TheThe Village||Edward Walker|
|2004||Frankenstein||Waldman, ProfessorProfessor Waldman||Television movie|
|2005||King, TheThe King||David Sandow|
|2005||History of Violence, AA History of Violence||Richie Cusack||Austin Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated – Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
|2005||Neverwas||Peter Reed, Dr.Dr. Peter Reed|
|2006||Good Shepherd, TheThe Good Shepherd||Philip Allen, CIA DirectorCIA Director Philip Allen|
|2006||Legend of Sasquatch, TheThe Legend of Sasquatch||John Davis||Voice only
|2007||Beautiful Ohio||Simon Messerman|
|2007||Noise||Schneer, MayorMayor Schneer|
|2007||Into the Wild||Walt McCandless||Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture|
|2008||Vantage Point||Ashton, PresidentPresident Ashton|
|2008||Incredible Hulk, TheThe Incredible Hulk||General Thunderbolt Ross|
|2009||Countess, TheThe Countess||György Thurzó|
|2010||Yellow Handkerchief, TheThe Yellow Handkerchief||Brett Hanson|
|2010||Robin Hood||William Marshal|
|2011||Too Big to Fail||Henry Paulson||Television movie
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
|2011||River Why, TheThe River Why||Gus's Father|
|2013||The Host||Jeb Stryder|
|2013||The Challenger||Richard Feynman||Television movie|
|2013||The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby|
|2013||Fire in the Blood||Narrator||Documentary|
|2013||Days and Nights||Herb|
|2014||Winter's Tale||Isaac Penn|
|2000||Frank Herbert's Dune||Leto Atreides, DukeDuke Leto Atreides||3 episodes|
|2001||The Flamingo Rising||Turner Knight||TV film|
|2002||King of Queens||Taber, Dr.Dr. Taber||Episode: "Shrink Wrap"|
|2006||Nightmares and Dreamscapes||Jason Renshaw||Episode: "Battleground"|
|2009||Damages||Daniel Purcell||13 episodes
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor – Drama Series
|2011||Moby Dick||Captain Ahab||2 episodes|
|2013||Bonnie and Clyde: Dead and Alive||Frank Hamer||2 episodes
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
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