John Hurt, actor, dies

John Hurt is the DoctorBritish actor Sir John Hurt, renowned for memorable roles in everything from I, Claudius to Alien to The Elephant Man to 1984 to Doctor Who, dies at the age of 77 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer (during which he kept actively working). Known to genre fans for the role of unlucky astronaut Kane in Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979), though before this he had lent his voice to animated adaptations of Lord Of The Rings and Watership Down. He spoofed his Alien character for Mel Brooks’ Spaceballs in 1987. Other genre fare included the movie adaptation of Carl Sagan’s novel Contact in 1997, V For Vendetta, Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, the final two Harry Potter movies, and voiced the dragon in the BBC’s TV series Merlin. In 2013, he joined the pantheon of incarnations of the Doctor for Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary, playing a previously unseen incarnation of the Time Lord, a role he reprised for Big Finish Productions’ Doctor Who audio plays.