skip navigation
Overview for William Hurt
William Hurt

William Hurt


TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here


TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (1)

Recent DVDs

Endgame ... Set in South Africa, 1985, this is a gripping and sophisticated political... more info $12.95was $16.95 Buy Now

Eddie Cantor... Eddie Cantor ruled as the reigning king of madcap music and comedy on stage,... more info $36.95was $47.99 Buy Now

The Accidental... Academy Award winners William Hurt and Geena Davis star with Kathleen Turner in... more info $15.95was $17.99 Buy Now

Late Bloomers ... In this romantic comedy, Mary (Isabella Rossellini) and Adam (William Hurt)... more info $20.95was $29.95 Buy Now

Winter's Tale ... New York City is subsumed in arctic winds, dark nights, and white lights, it's... more info $8.95was $14.98 Buy Now

Altered... A scientist experiments unlock the horrors of his mind. Visual wizard Ken... more info $15.95was $19.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: Died:
Born: March 20, 1950 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Washington, Washington D.C., USA Profession: Cast ...


In 1988, Hurt became the first recipient of the Spencer Tracy Award presented by UCLA.

"[Hurt] was one of the most passionate, intelligent, mad people I've ever met in my life."---"Altered States" co-star Blair Brown to Premiere, October 1997.

"The most complicated man I ever met. Someone I would not want to live with again."---Marlee Matlin on William Hurt.

"I think it is an interesting and important ritual, the putting on of a mask. There's something sacred about it. The lights go out and the subject is considered by all together, it's a special moment, it's a special time. I respect that event. It doesn't seem to me that people are very good at understanding anything, and we're certainly no good at controlling things. We're not talented as a race that way. But we are remarkably sensitive creatures! We're unbelievably well designed witnesses, that must be our beauty. And we also have another ability, which doesn't seem to hurt anyone when it's done well or correctly, which is to express that."---William Hurt quoted by Susan Linfield in "Zen and the Art of Film Acting" American Film, July/August 1986.

"The mask is everything... I wish I could take huge physical risks in films. "Kiss of the Spider Woman" is about as extensive as I have been allowed to do in movies. I wanted to do twice as much in "Spider Woman". I wanted him to start out almost as a harpy, like a Medusa, then become a true queen. I had a whole physical idea in my mind, but I wasn't allowed to do it as flagrantly as I would have liked. I think I could have pulled it off believably, but it's really hard to get people to accept that."---William Hurt, interviewed by Don Shewey in "Caught in the Act" New York: New American Library 1986

"You have to create a track record of breaking your own mold, or at least other people's idea of that mold."---William Hurt quoted in The New York Times, September 1994.

From "Zen and the Art of Film Acting" by Susan Linfield, American Film, July/August 1986

Question: "What about Molina in 'Spider Woman'? That's a role that I think a lot of people would not have touched."

Hurt: "I can't understand why. To me it's much harder to be mediocre. My image is of a horse that wants to run, and the rider keeps pulling on the reins so hard that the horse's head gets turned in on itself. It's awful. It's a horrible thing to go through or do to an animal. It's happened to me. Because sometimes I feel like a horse. I want to run!"

"... in his soul [he] is a truly conflicted, turbulent human being. Not in the way lots of actors seek to be, because they find the notion of torment romantic. He is that, plain and simple."---Madeleine Stowe to Movieline, February 1998.

"Sometimes they get a little intimidated, but you just have to reduce that. You have to stop that. Your job is not to intimidate people, it's to prove your trustworthiness, and you do that by doing the best work you know how to do and by respecting them."---Hurt on how his craft and reputation affect other actors to, February 11, 2002.

"Sometimes people call me a success for all the reasons that make me think I'm a failure. Being famous is not something that would make me feel successful, unless one was striving for mediocrity. Being a father, being a friend, those are the things that make me feel successful."---Hurt to Tufts e-news, March 11, 2002.

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute