Date of Birth: March 20th 1950
This handsome, cerebral, WASPy-looking actor has amassed an amazingly diverse gallery of performances, and is perhaps the most talented of the generation of actors that came to prominence during the 1980s. After studying theology in London and Boston (and acting at Juilliard), he performed in many stage productions and made his film debut as the intense, obsessed scientist in Altered States (1980). Movie audiences found him more accessible as the mildmannered janitor in the thriller Eyewitness (1981), which led to two star-making leading roles for writer-director Lawrence Kasdan: the manipulated Southern lawyer in Body Heat (also 1981) and the impotent drug dealer in The Big Chill (1983).
Hurt established himself as an actor unafraid to assume totally different personas from film to film, and cemented that reputation as an imprisoned homosexual in Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985), winning a Best Actor Oscar (as well as honors at the Cannes Film Festival) for his chores. He also snared Oscar nominations as a teacher of deaf students in Children of a Lesser God (1986, opposite Marlee Matlin) and as a not-so-bright TV anchorman in Broadcast News (1987). He has continued to choose surprising and challenging roles, among them a Russian police inspector in Gorky Park (1983), the melancholy travel-book author in The Accidental Tourist (1988, directed by Kasdan), a comic would-be assassin in Kasdan's I Love You to Death (1990), Mia Farrow's wealthy and aloof husband in Woody Allen's Alice (also 1990, a wonderfully knowing performance in essenti ally a cameo role), a wisecracking, irreverent medico who is humanized by his own illness in The Doctor (1991), and the world traveler working on a machine to benefit blind people in Until the End of the World (also 1991). Hurt frequently returns to the stage; other film credits in- clude The Plague (1992), Mr. Wonderful (1993), Trial by Jury (1994), and Smoke (1995).