William Hurt, star on ‘Broadcast News’ and ‘Body Heat’, dies


William Hurt, Oscar-winning actor in “Broadcast News,”” “Body Heat” or “The Big Chill”, has passed away. He was 71 years old.

Will Hurt, Hurt’s only son, stated in a statement, “Hurt died Sunday from natural causes.” He said Hurt died peacefully, among family. Deadline first reported Hurt’s death.

Hurt had a long career and was nominated three times for Academy Awards, winning for 1985’s “Kiss of the Spider Woman.” Hurt made his screen debut in 1980’s Paddy Chayefsky-scripted film “Altered States,” as a psychopathologist who studies schizophrenia and experiments with sensory deprivation. He quickly rose to prominence as one of the 1980s most prominent leading men.

Kathleen Turner and Hurt were both featured in Lawrence Kasdan’s 1981 steamy noir “Body Heat.” Hurt starred in 1983’s “The Big Chill”, again with Kasdan. He played Nick Carlton, a Vietnam War veteran, who is one of a group college friends who gather to attend their friend’s funeral.

After starting in New York’s theater, Hurt returned to Broadway to play the lead role in David Rabe’s “Hurlyburly” on Broadway. He was then nominated for a Tony. Soon after, “Kiss of the Spider Woman” was released. Hurt won the Oscar for best actor for his portrayal of a gay prisoner under repressive South American dictatorships.

Hurt stated to The New York Times that acting is an intimate and private activity in 1983. “The art and craft of acting require as much solitude as writing. Yes, it’s hard to meet people but you must learn a skill, a technique. It’s work. It’s strange that my acting is interpreted as a clamor for attention, like I need so much love or attention that I will give up my right of privacy.

Albert Brooks, Hurt’s director and co-star on “Broadcast News”, was one of those who responded to Hurt’s passing. Brooks wrote, “So sorry to hear this news.” Brooks said, “It was an amazing experience working with him on Broadcast News.” He will be deeply missed.”