Robin Hood (2010)
The Yellow Handkerchief (2010)
The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Vantage Point (2008)
Into the Wild (2007)
Mr. Brooks (2007)
The Good Shepherd (2006)
The King (2006)
A History of Violence (2005)
The Village (2004)
The River Why
Date of Birth
20 March 1950, Washington, District of Columbia, USA
William M. Hurt
6' 2" (1.88 m)
Twenty years ago, William Hurt seemed destined for a career as a screen legend, as one of those actors like Spencer Tracy, Marlon Brando, and Jack Nicholson who were movie stars who could also act. Though he won a Best Actor Oscar for Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985) and appeared in many interesting films in the 1980s, Hurt never lived up to his promise.
Unable or unwilling to consolidate his claim as a leading-man, he failed to establish himself as either a character-lead or a character actor. After eight years of building up an A-List career, from his appearance in Ken Russell/Paddy Chayefsky's Altered States (1980) through The Accidental Tourist (1988), his light failed.
He had three straight Best Actor nominations from 1986 through 1988, winning on his first nod for "Spider Woman," then racking up kudos for Children of a Lesser God (1986) and Broadcast News (1987). Eighteen years passed before he got another Oscar nomination, for Best Supporting Actor for a small character role in A History of Violence (2005)
William Hurt was trained at Tufts University and The Juilliard School and has been nominated for four Academy Awards, including the most recent nomination for his supporting role in David Cronenberg's History of Violence. Hurt received Best Supporting Actor accolades for the role from the Los Angeles Film Critics circle and the New York Film Critics Circle.
Hurt spent the early years of his career on the stage between drama school, summer stock, regional repertory and Off Broadway, appearing in more than fifty productions including Henry V, 5th of July, Hamlet, Uncle Vanya, Richard II, Hurlyburly (for which he was nominated for a Tony Award), My Life (winning an Obie Award for Best Actor), A Midsummer's Night's Dream and Good. For radio, Hurt read Paul Theroux's The Grand Railway Bazaar, for the BBC Radio Four and The Shipping News by Annie Proulx. He has recorded The Polar Express, The Boy Who Drew Cats, The Sun Also Rises and narrated the documentaries, Searching for America: The Odyssey of John Dos Passos, Einstein-How I see the World and the English narration of Elie Weisel's To Speak the Unspeakable, a documentary directed and produced by Pierre Marmiesse. In 1988, Hurt was awarded the first Spencer Tracy Award from UCLA.
|Heidi Henderson||(5 March 1989 - 1 August 1993) (divorced) 2 children|
|Mary Beth Hurt||(2 December 1971 - 9 December 1982) (divorced)|
Graduate of Tufts University, 1972. Also studied at Juilliard.
His ex-wife, Heidi, is the daughter of Skitch Henderson.
He lived with Sandra Jennings from 1981-1984.
Lives in Oregon with his two sons, Willie and Sam from his marriage to Heidi Henderson. 
Attended Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts.
Turned down a role in Jurassic Park (1993).
He is the stepson of Henry Luce III, son of "Time" magazine founder Henry Luce and writer Clare Boothe Luce.
Recipient of the first Spencer Tracy Award in 1988 for outstanding screen performances.
He is an avid private pilot with taildragger experience.
Turned down lead role in Misery (1990)
Speaks French fluently.
Has 4 children: Daughter Jeanne Bonnaire-Hurt (born February 1, 1994) with Sandrine Bonnaire, Son, Alexander Devon Hurt (born 1983) with Sandra Jennings and sons, Samuel Hurt (born August 7, 1989) and William Hurt (born 1991) with ex-wife, Heidi Henderson.
Was nominated for Broadway's 1985 Tony Award as Best Actor (Featured Role - Play) for David Rabe's Hurlyburly.
On May 25, 2005, he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts by Tufts University.
Godfather of actress Meghan Glennon.
Lived with Children of a Lesser God (1986) actress Marlee Matlin for some years in the 80's.
Made his stage debut in "Henry V" in 1977 for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
Is the uncle of Oliver Hurt.
Went to the Middlesex School; graduated 10 years before Steve Carell.
He waived his salary for Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985) so that the film could be made within its budget.
Studied acting with Michael Howard in New York City.
Acted in 5 Best Picture nominees in the 1980's: The Big Chill (1983), Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985), Children of a Lesser God (1986), Broadcast News (1987), and The Accidental Tourist (1988).
All I know is that my best work has come out of being committed and happy.
I'm still not comfortable with all this. I'm not comfortable with walking the red carpet in a tuxedo and seeing all the women with their boobs pushed up and all the men dressed as penguins - particularly when the subject of your film is the nature of violence and humanity. But that's the nature of Cannes. That's the process that we are both dealing with today.
The simple fact of existence, of being aware that you are aware; this to me is the most astounding fact. And I think that it has something to do with dying. When you are a kid you are beset by fears and you think, 'I'll solve the fear by living for ever and becoming a movie star.' But I am not going to live for ever. And the more I know it, the more amazed I am by being here at all. I am so thrilled by the privilege of life, and yet at the same time I know that I have to let it go.
And I don't want to use my troubles as an example of what to do and what not to do. But there's that old credo, in vino veritas. In wine lies truth. And a lot of people believe that. But one day you wake up and say, 'This is stupid and this is wrong.' And it was wrong, so I did something about it.
A lot of people are taking those risks on the basis of something so unconsidered that it's completely capricious. That's one of the reasons why actors are not respected anymore as actors.
I am not an actor. I'm just a man who likes acting. I am what I am. I am nobody. I don't exist. But the work exists. The work is more than the actor.
I am a character actor in a leading man's body.
I am not a star, I am an actor.
[on being taken hostage in Brazil while filming "Kiss of the Spider Woman"] - We had 36 hours off from filming and me and my date at the time get into a car and we drove south to a village where her parents had a small villa in a very modest town with dirt streets. And as we drove into the driveway at midnight a car pulled up behind us and blocked our exit. The engine of that car was turned off. There were four people in it: two men and two women. One of the men had a ski mask on ... . The one man leaned out the window and he said to us in Portuguese and I asked my date what he said, and she turned white. She said "He wants directions." So she knew right away. And after that the doors of the car opened and they both got out with guns. [Hurt and his date were let go some hours later.]
[on playing a drag queen in "Kiss of the Spider Woman"] - I didn't play him as gay. I played him as a woman ... the key for me as an artist, I was researching the character - I had a wonderful dance teacher who was helping me try to figure out how to move, because every character has different movement .... And I spent time ... in gay bars and trying to soak that up too - I'm not gay myself, but many of my friends are - and I wasn't getting it. There was something that wasn't working. And I was walking in the street one day and I was looking at a woman who was walking ahead of us, and I said "I don't think Molina's gay. I think he's a woman. I think he really is a woman, he's just caught in a man's body." Like sometimes I'm an actor caught in a movie star's body.
[on getting into his supporting role as the final-act villain in "A History of Violence"] - David [Cronenberg] was so kind with with me. I arrived 10 days early. I filmed only for a couple days. I'm of the belief 'There are no small roles. Only small actors.' ... The so-called main characters? What's that? We're all main characters. We're all main characters in our lives.
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