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28 January 2017, 11:01
Star of films including Midnight Express, Alien and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
A two times Academy Awards nominee, winner of a Golden Globe, and four BAFTA Awards, Hurt was knighted in 2015 for his services to drama.
Mel Brooks, executive producer of Elephant Man, lead tributes to the screen icon via his social media.
It was terribly sad today to learn of John Hurt's passing. He was a truly magnificent talent.— Mel Brooks (@MelBrooks) January 28, 2017
No one could have played The Elephant Man more memorably. He carried that film into cinematic immortality. He will be sorely missed.— Mel Brooks (@MelBrooks) January 28, 2017
With an incredible career that spanned over six decade, one of Hurt's more recent roles is to be in Oscar nominated 'Jackie'.
In June 2015, he announced he had been diagnosed with early-stage pancreatic cancer, which then went into remission in the October.
Sir John had been set to star in Kenneth Branagh's production of the 'The Entertainer', however on the advice of doctors decided to pull out of the role.
J.K. Rowling joined fans of Harry Potter in paying honour to the actor. Hurt played the wand shop owner Mr Olivander in the series.
So very sad to hear that the immensely talented and deeply beloved John Hurt has died. My thoughts are with his family and friends.— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January 28, 2017
He also featured in the 50th anniversary special of Doctor Who, back in 2013, as the War Doctor.
Tributes are being paid to the star from: fans, friends, and a host of actors - including Richard E. Grant.
So so sad to have lost such an extraordinary talent and friend. Sir John Hurt. R. I. P. pic.twitter.com/J2eMMBVNLB— Richard E. Grant (@RichardEGrant) January 28, 2017