John Hurt succumbed to pancreatic cancer last week. This British actor, both screen and stage, a man of huge talent, died just after turning 77. He was ‘in harness’ right up to his death. Even acted the part of a dying man in ‘That Good Night’ where his character had two final resolves: reconciliation with his son, and ensuring no burden to his wife, as he ‘departs’ into the Dylan Thomas ‘…that good night’…Hurt also, recently, starred as Neville Chamberlain, opposite Oldman’s ‘Darkest Hour’… about Winston Churchill, scheduled to be released this December. This genius of unmistaken voice, spanned all generations with his recent part of Ollivander in ‘Harry Potter’. Roles: A Man for All Seasons’ initiated his acting career… he emerged from Swinging London of the 60s, and the love of his life…whom he intended to marry, Vogue model Marie-Lise Pierrot, two years his senior. 1979 role in Ridley Scott’s ‘Alien’ unforgettable, along with others such as ‘Elephant Man’. ..Two of four marriages early in his life…he seemed to handle…but Tobacco and Alcohol and resulting turmoil, an indelible facet of his life…even contributing to that unmistaken, rasp, voice…his trademark to his death. John Hurt, Primordial Prevention?
Personal tragedy after 15 years with Marie-Lise…in English Oxfordshire…on his farm holding…two horses…he and Marie-Lise both thrown. ..But Marie-Lise with head injuries, an untimely, tragic death…This drastic personal depression…He remarried twice…and probably, at lowest point, his final marriage to Anwen Rees-Myers, supportive, successful, through Knighthood…Lady Rees-Myers… and death sentence of pancreatic cancer. Stoic, “We all passing through, just occupy our chair very briefly..” so perceptive. Mortality: “Impossible to get to my age and not have a little contemplation..”
Perhaps Primordial Prevention..originally a UN health concept of the late 70s. ‘Known’ medical negatives……Smoking, Alcohol and consequences, we can ‘elect’ to avoid…. John Hurt, Primordial Prevention?
Hurt, from London of the 60s, both made him…and his voice!…but ultimately surely a factor respecting his cancer. Stress, yes he had it…particularly with the tragedy of Marie-Lise who was so special to him…that perhaps an added tragic overlay to his incredible career. John Hurt, Primordial Prevention?