William Hurt

The textbook model of the sensitive leading man, Oscar-winning actor William Hurt was a major player in 1980s cinema who was typically cast as a detached intellectual type and easily at his best playing characters who were physically or emotionally damaged. Hurt first came to attention opposite Kathleen Turner in the steamy "Body Heat" (1981), before standing out in the ensemble cast of Lawrence Kasdan's classic drama "The Big Chill" (1983). Following his breakthrough role as a gay window dresser in "Kiss of the Spider Woman" (1985), Hurt was vaulted to the upper tier of Hollywood leading men. He earned more critical acclaim for "Children of a Lesser God" (1986) and "Broadcast News" (1987) before falling off the radar for a time with supporting roles in projects like "I Love You to Death" (1990), "Mr. Wonderful" (1993) and "Michael" (1996). Hurt also had a brief, but Oscar-nominated, performance in "A History of Violence" (2005). With his wounded portrayal of a scientist grieving the murder of his wife on the second season of "Damages" (FX, 2007-2010) and his portrayal of Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson in "Too Big to Fail" (HBO, 2011), Hurt cemented his reputation as a passionate artist more concerned with creating great roles than with straightforward leading-man roles. Hurt's performance was hailed by critics and earned the decorated actor an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie. William Hurt died on March 13, 2022 at the age of 71.