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More William Hurt Bios & Profiles


The most recent William Hurt biography is published on the main page.

Biography #2 (for Syriana)

William Hurt trained at Tufts University and New York's Juilliard School of Music and Drama. He spent the early years of his career on the stage between drama school, summer stock, regional repertory and off Broadway, appearing in more than fifty productions including Henry V, 5th of July, Hamlet, Richard II, Hurlyburly (for which he was nominated for a Tony Award), My Life (winning an Obie Award for Best Actor), A Midsummer Night's Dream and Good.

Hurt was last seen in David Cronenberg's A History of Violence, starring Viggo Mortensen and Maria Bello. In the film, an average family is thrust into the spotlight after the father commits a seemingly self-defense murder at his diner. The film screened at the 2005 Cannes International Film Festival. Also this year at Cannes, Hurt appeared in James Marsh's controversial film The King with Gael García Bernal. The film is about a troubled man (Bernal), recently discharged from the Navy, who returns to his childhood home in Texas to reunite with his father (Hurt).

Hurt has also completed production on the ensemble independent film Neverwas. The impressive cast includes Sir Ian McKellen, Alan Cumming, Nick Nolte and Aaron Eckhart. The story follows a Yale graduate (Eckhart), who gets a job at the mental institution where his novelist father (Nolte) spent some time as a patient. Once there, he meets an inmate (McKellen) who proves a mysterious link to his father's hugely successful fantasy novel, Neverwas.

In 2004, Hurt was seen in M. Night Shyamalan's thriller The Village, opposite Joaquin Phoenix and Sigourney Weaver. In the same year, he appeared in The Hallmark Channel's miniseries Frankenstein, opposite Donald Sutherland, and was also seen in the independent film The Blue Butterfly.

In 2002, Hurt appeared in Tuck Everlasting, directed by Jay Russell, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. He also starred in the title role of the CBS miniseries Master Spy: The Robert Hanssen Story and had a cameo appearance in Changing Lanes, starring Samuel L. Jackson.

In 2001, Hurt starred in the independent film Rare Birds, co-starring Molly Parker, which was nominated for best film at the Genie Awards; and he was also seen in a supporting role in Steven Spielberg's A.I. Also in 2001, he starred opposite Brian Benben and Elizabeth McGovern in The Flamingo Rising for CBS, which was based on the novel by Larry Baker and directed by Martha Coolidge; and Varian's War for Showtime. Varian's War was directed by Lionel Chetwynd, produced by Barbra Streisand's Barwood Films and co-starred Alan Arkin, Julia Ormond and Lynn Redgrave.

In 2000, Hurt delivered a memorable performance in Sunshine, opposite Ralph Fiennes. Directed by István Szabó, Sunshine received three Genie Awards, including one for Best Motion Picture. In addition, Hurt also appeared in The Simian Line with Lynn Redgrave and Eric Stoltz and Dune for the Sci-Fi Channel.

In 1980, Hurt appeared in his first film, Altered States. He received a Best Actor Oscar nomination for Broadcast News and Children of a Lesser God. For Kiss of the Spider Woman, he was honored with an Academy Award as well as Best Actor Awards from the British Academy and the Cannes Film Festival.

Among his other film credits are Body Heat, The Big Chill, Eyewitness, Gorky Park, Alice, I Love You to Death, The Accidental Tourist, The Doctor, The Plague, Trial by Jury, Second Best, Smoke, Confidences à un Inconnu, Jane Eyre, Michael, Dark City, The Proposition, The Big Brass Ring and One True Thing.

For radio, Hurt read Paul Theroux's The Great Railway Bazaar, for the BBC Radio Four and Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx. He has recorded The Polar Express, The Boy Who Drew Cats and narrated the documentaries Searching For America: The Odyssey of John Dos Passos, Einstein - How I See the World and the English narration of Elie Wiesel's To Speak the Unspeakable, a documentary directed and produced by Pierre Marmiesse.

In 1988, Hurt was awarded the first Spencer Tracy Award from UCLA.

Bio courtesy Warner Bros. for "Syriana" (06-Jan-2006)