RIP: William Hurt, Oscar-Winning ‘Kiss Of The Spider-Woman’, ‘Broadcast News’, Marvel Actor Dead At 71

Sad news tonight, as Oscar-winning actor, a real screen legend, William Hurt has passed away at the age of 71. No cause of death was given. We here at Punch Drunk Critics send our condolences to his friends and family, who released this statement:

“It is with great sadness that the Hurt family mourns the passing of William Hurt, beloved father and Oscar-winning actor, on March 13, 2022, one week before his 72nd birthday. He died peacefully, among family, of natural causes. The family requests privacy at this time.”

Hurt was one of those actors that gave anything he was in an instant credibility. He began his acting career in an unusual place, Ken Russell’s bizarre 1980 sci-fi film Altered States, for which he earned a Golden Globe nomination for best newcomer. A year later he would fall victim to Kathleen Turner’s charms in the classic erotic thriller Body Heat, followed by a starring role in 1983’s Gorky Park. His breakout performance would come that same year as the drug-dealing Nick in The Big Chill.

Hurt would then go on an incredible run, earning three straight Oscar nominations for Best Actor for his performances in 1985’s Kiss of the Spider Woman, for which he won, 1986’s Children of a Lesser God, and in 1987 for Broadcast News.

While definitely a refined dramatic actor, Hurt didn’t mind stepping into genre or blockbusters, starring in Robin Hood alongside Russell Crowe, Steven Spielberg’s Artificial Intelligence, Alex Proyas seminal sci-fi noir Dark City, and the 1998 reboot of Lost in Space. He would earn yet another Oscar nomination for David Cronenberg’s A History of Violence, in which he had less than 10 minutes of screen time as the notorious mob boss.

Marvel fans will also have come to appreciate Hurt for his multiple appearances as General Thunderbolt Ross, beginning with 2008’s The Incredible Hulk and concluding, sadly, with Black Widow.

Travis Hopson
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.