William Hurt, Star of ‘Body Heat’ and ‘Broadcast News,’ Dead at 71


William Hurt – Credit: Rich Fury/Invision/AP William Hurt , the Oscar-winning actor who starred in films like Body Heat , The Big Chill and Broadcast News , has died at the age of 71.

Hurt’s son Will confirmed his father’s death in a statement Sunday. “It is with great sadness that the Hurt family mourns the passing of William Hurt, beloved father and Oscar winning actor, on March 13, 2022, one week before his 72nd birthday,” the family said. “He died peacefully, among family, of natural causes. The family requests privacy at this time.

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A three-time nominee for Best Actor at the Academy Awards, Hurt won an Oscar in the category for his role in 1985’s Kiss of the Spider Woman . After first appearing on the big screen in the 1980 sci-fi horror film Altered States — a role that earned him a Golden Globe nomination — Hurt quickly became one of Eighties cinema’s most versatile leading men, bouncing between neo-noirs (Body Heat, Eyewitness), romantic comedies ( Broadcast News , The Accidental Tourist ) and drama ( Children of a Lesser God ).

“He can play any kind of part he wants,” producer Alan Ladd Jr. said of Hurt for the actor’s 1981 Rolling Stone cover story. “He’s a great character actor, but let’s face it, he’s a leading man.”

The following decade, Hurt settled into more of a character actor, appearing in films like A.I. Artificial Intelligence , The Village , Syriana , The Good Shepherd and Mr. Brooks . He received a fourth Oscar nomination, this time for Best Supporting Actor, in 2005 for his role as a crime boss in David Cronenberg’s A History of Violence .

Younger audiences, however, likely best know Hurt for his reoccurring role as General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross in the Marvel Cinematic Universe; Hurt first portrayed the character in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk before reprising the general in four more Marvel movies: Captain America: Civil War , Avengers: Infinity War and 2021’s Black Widow .