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He was best-known for his portrayals of the famously misunderstood and he took an instinctive approach to his craft, believing that method acting was for people with no imagination.
Hurt once told the British film critic Geoff Andrew: 'The only way I can describe it is that I put everything I can into the mulberry of my mind and hope that it is going to ferment and make a decent wine.'How that process happens, I'm sorry to tell you I can't describe.' John Hurt will give the world a glimpse of his own experience battling terminal illness in one of his final roles, set for release after his death.
He also received his second Oscar nomination for the performance, which many extolled as Hurt's best, but was beaten to the award by Robert Di Nero with his role in Raging Bull.
The actor also enjoyed immense commercial success, playing Kane in the 1979 blockbuster Alien.
In The Good Night, Hurt plays a once-famous screen-writer in his seventies who is desperate to fix his relationship with his son and make sure he is not a burden to his wife before he dies.
He picked up yet another BAFTA just two years later in 1980 - this time as a leading actor in David Lynch's Elephant Man.The all-star cast also included Gary Oldman as Churchill, Kirstin Scott Thomas as Churchill's wife Clementine and Lily James as Elizabeth Nell.The big-budget British movie is still being filmed, it is believed, so it is not yet known if Hurt will appear or if they will have to find someone to replace him.He is also due to star in a film called Darkest Hour, about the early days of the Second World War.Hurt was due to play Neville Chamberlain alongside Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill, although the movie has not yet finished filming.
The English actor, born in Derbyshire in 1940, became a critical and commercial success in films like Midnight Express, Alien and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.