Born: 20 March 1950
Birthplace: Washington, D.C.
Best known as: Star of the movie Kiss of the Spider Woman
A cerebral leading man and offbeat character actor, William Hurt was one of the more distinctive Hollywood stars of the 1980s. Hurt won an Oscar for his leading role as a story-spinning prisoner in the 1985 film version of Manuel Puig
's Kiss of the Spider Woman
(with Raul Julia
), but he is more fondly remembered for his starmaking turns in two films by Lawrence Kasdan: the sexy noir thriller Body Heat
(with Hurt as a big lug seduced by Kathleen Turner) and the nostalgic baby boomer flick The Big Chill
(with Hurt as a disillusioned Vietnam vet). He was also nominated for Oscars for his work in Children of a Lesser God
(1986) and Broadcast News
(1987). With his long jaw and thinning sandy hair, Hurt often played ambitious characters who were by turns earnest, sensitive and hot-headed. in the 1990s he was less prominent on screen, though he played Rochester in Jane Eyre
(1996, with Charlotte Gainsbourg as Jane) and galactic explorer John Robinson in the big-budget Lost in Space
(1998, with Mimi Rogers
). Since then he has worked steadily on stage around the world and popped up in smaller roles on screen. Hurt was again nominated for an Oscar in 2006, playing Viggo Mortensen
's brother in A History of Violence
. His other films include Syriana
(2005), The Good Shepherd
(2006, directed by Robert DeNiro
), Into the Wild
(2007, starring Emile Hirsch
), and the TV movie Too Big to Fail
(2011, as former Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson
Hurt graduated from Tufts University in 1972 and studied at the Julliard School from 1972-75… He was married to actress Mary Beth Hurt (formerly Mary Beth Supinger) from 1971-81.
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