That’s the first thought I had when I saw the news, and that’s the first word that comes to mind now. DAMN and DAMN!! This one hurts (to be fair, they all hurt, but some hit me more than others), and the world is a lot less bright because of the talent that has departed.
I’m certain I haven’t seen a fraction of John Hurt’s output. What I know him for is:
Kane in Alien (1979), best known as the guy who died when the Alien clawed its way out of his chest in one of the more memorable death scenes ever created for film.
Chancellor Suttler in V for Vendetta, where he plays the Big Brother-like authority figure; the irony of this is Hurt played the main character in 1984, where people were oppressed by Big Brother.
The War Doctor in Doctor Who: it took some time to get used to, but once i saw Hurt’s performance, I really enjoyed it. I totally believed his performance as the Doctor.
The Dragon in Merlin: I actually forgot about this role until someone reminded me. I was a huge fan of this show and I always looked forward to when the Dragon appeared.
And, one of my favorites: Hazel in Watership Down. Hurt voices Hazel, the leader of the band of rabbits that escapes their doomed warren and eventually makes a home on a high down far away.
This barely scratches the surface, and I know it, but those are some of my favorite roles that he played.
In his memory, I plan on watching Alien and Watership Down. Rest in Peace John Hurt, we miss you.