Mar. 20th, 1950
Washington, District of Columbia, USA
William Hurt's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
William McChord Hurt (born March 20, 1950) is an American stage and film actor. He received his acting training at the Juilliard School and began acting on stage in the 1970s. Hurt made his film debut as a troubled scientist in the science-fiction feature Altered States (1980), for which he received a Golden Globe nomination for New Star of the Year. He subsequently played a leading role, as a lawyer who succumbs to the temptations of 'Kathleen Turner', in the neo-noir Body Heat (1981).
Born in Washington, D.C., the son of Claire Isabel (née McGill), who worked at Time, Inc., and Alfred McChord Hurt, who worked for the State Department. With his father, he lived in Lahore, Mogadishu and Khartoum. After his parents divorced, his mother married Henry Luce III (a son of publisher Henry Luce) during Hurt's childhood. Hurt graduated from Middlesex School in 1968 where he was vice president of the Dramatics Club and had the lead role in several school plays. His high school yearbook predicted: "With characteristics such as these, you might even see him on Broadway." Hurt attended Tufts University and studied theology, but turned instead to acting and joined the Juilliard School (Drama Division Group 5: 1972–1976). Two of his classmates there were the late actors 'Christopher Reeve' and 'Robin Williams'.
Twenty years ago, 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.
Hurt 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). Other notable films in recent years have included A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), The Village (2004), Syriana (2005), The Good Shepherd (2006), Mr. Brooks (2007), Into the Wild (2007), The Incredible Hulk (2008) and Robin Hood (2010).
In May 2015, Marvel Studios announced Hurt would reprise his role for Captain America: Civil War.
Hurt was married to Mary Beth Hurt from 1971 to 1982.
In the 1980s, Hurt was involved in a lawsuit with Sandra Jennings, who alleged that the two shared a common-law marriage. While he was still married, Hurt and Jennings had begun a relationship in Saratoga Springs, New York, in 1981. Jennings became pregnant in the spring of 1982 which precipitated Hurt's divorce from Mary Beth Hurt, after which Hurt and Jennings relocated to South Carolina, a state that recognized common-law marriages. Hurt and Jennings, remained officially unmarried, later separated and Jennings sued him in New York, seeking recognition of the "marriage" under South Carolina law. The New York court, which did not recognize common-law marriage and was reluctant to recognize a common-law marriage originating in South Carolina, found in Hurt's favor that no common-law marriage existed.
Hurt dated Marlee Matlin for one year, and they lived together for two years. In her 2009 autobiography I'll Scream Later, Matlin claimed that their relationship involved considerable drug abuse and physical abuse by Hurt. In response to the accusations aired on CNN on April 13, 2009, Hurt's agent declined to respond, but Hurt issued a statement the following day, which said: "My own recollection is that we both apologized and both did a great deal to heal our lives. Of course, I did and do apologize for any pain I caused. And I know we have both grown. I wish Marlee and her family nothing but good".
Hurt has four children: Alexander with Sandra Jennings, Sam and William with Heidi Henderson, and Jeanne with actress Sandrine Bonnaire.
During the filming of Kiss of the Spider Woman, Hurt and a friend were threatened at gunpoint but were let go several hours later.
Hurt is a private pilot and owner of a Beechcraft Bonanza.
- Is the uncle of Oliver Hurt.
- His ex-wife, Heidi, is the daughter of 'Skitch Henderson' (qv).
- On May 25, 2005, he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts by Tufts University.
- Turned down lead role in _Misery (1990)_ (qv)
- (2004) Lives in Oregon with his two sons, Willie and Sam from his marriage to Heidi Henderson.
- Made his stage debut in "Henry V" in 1977 for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
- Turned down a role in _Jurassic Park (1993)_ (qv).
- Went to the Middlesex School; graduated 10 years before 'Steve Carell' (qv).