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By James Dunn For Mailonline. Treasured actor Sir John Hurt was once a world-famous hell-raiser when his life descended into hedonism and alcohol after the tragic death of his fiancee. The actor, who once boasted that he drank up to seven bottles of wine a night, was famous for partying with other Hollywood bad boys Oliver Reed and Peter O'Toole.


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Thank you for ing up. Sorry, it looks like an error occurred. Veteran actor Sir John Hurt has died at 77 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

British actor John Hurt, who has died aged 77, was a cult actor of many faces, often playing supporting roles which went down in the annals of cinema history. Whether as the first victim in "Alien", the sensitive monster in the "Elephant Man" or the transvestite writer in "the Naked Civil Servant", Hurt slipped seamlessly into any role.

His mother, who herself was an amateur actress, forbade him from going to the cinema, which she thought was too common for the son of a pastor. He discovered theatre at school, but it was towards painting that the great admirer of Edvard Munch first turned, securing a grant to become teacher of drawing at Saint Martin's School of Art in London.

In his passion for the stage caught up with him and he entered the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art RADA from which he graduated two years later. In parallel with the stage he also made his debut in television, where he made his mark in Britain portraying transvestite writer Quentin Crisp, and then the Roman emperor Caligula.

He won an Bafta award and the Golden Globe for the best supporting role and was nominated for an Oscar.

The year after the tall and slender actor with a shock of red hair played the second officer Kane in Ridley Scott's "Alien". The scene where the extra-terrestrial kills him when emerging from his chest has gone down in the annals of cinema.

Inafter 12 hours of make-up, he slipped into the tragic skin of the "Elephant Man" for the black and white masterpiece of David Lynch. His performance won him a second Oscar nomination and a Bafta for the best actor. He won another Bafta for his whole career in Hurt excelled in cult movies and particularly in futuristic films, like "", in which he played Winston Smith in the same year, "V for Vendetta", by James McTeigue in and "Snowpiercer" by Joon-ho Bong in But his career of films, of which he admits openly some he accepted to make a living, also led him to portray Garrick Ollivander, a genial magic wand seller in the Harry Potter films, and the mad scientist Oxley in the "Indiana Jones Kingdom of the Crystal Skull".

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The actor with a melancholy regard who scoured the bars of London's Soho district with Peter O'Toole, Oliver Reed and Lucian Freud, liked playing eccentrics and psychotics, be they victims or torturers. His deep and grave voice led him to carry out on several occasions the role of narrator, notably in "Dogville" of Lars Von Trier - with whom he collaborated on three occasions - or in "Perfume, the Story of a Murderer", the adaptation of the novel of Germany's Patrick Sueskind.

After having fought problems with alcohol, Hurt announced on June 16, on his blog that he was suffering from pancreatic cancer and said he was "more than optimistic about a satisfactory outcome".

Scarred by the accidental death in of his fiancee of 16 years, the French model Marie-Lise Volpeliere-Pierrot, Hurt was married four times and had two children. Australia ranked last among developed nations on climate performance and pledges. Malka Leifer to face sexual abuse trial in Malaysian transgender woman Nur Sajat feels 'happy and free' in Australia.

Marie lise volpeliere pierrot

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Farewell to a hollywood legend: sir john hurt, who starred in the elephant man, alien and harry potter, dies aged 77 after a battle with cancer as tributes pour in to 'the most gentlemanly of gentlemen'

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Sorry, it looks like an error occurred Please refresh the and try again. Essentially I am an actor for hire," he once said. Top Stories. News to your inbox up now for the latest news from Australia and around the world direct to your inbox.