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Mel Brooks leads tributes to Sir John Hurt

The 77-year-old actor, who starred in the 1980 movie ‘Elephant Man’ has passed away after a long battle with cancer.

British actor Sir John Hurt. Picture: Wikipedia.

LONDON – Tributes have poured in for the late acting legend Sir John Hurt, who has died at the age of 77 following a battle with cancer.

The 90-year-old filmmaker directed the 77-year-old actor, who has sadly passed away after a long battle with cancer, in the 1980 movie Elephant Man, and Brooks says no one else could have played the titular role better than Hurt and hailed him a "magnificent talent".

Taking to Twitter on hearing the news of his death, he wrote: "It was terribly sad to learn of John Hurt's passing. He was truly a magnificent talent ... No one could have played The Elephant Man more memorably. He carried that film into cinematic immortality. He will be sorely missed. (sic)"

Bonnie Wright, who played Ginny alongside Hurt's wand-making alter-ego Garrick Ollivander in 'Harry Potter and Philosopher's Stone', simply wrote: "John Hurt. What an acting legend. Rest in peace dear Sir Wand, shopping won't be the same without you. (sic)"

David Schneider starred alongside Hurt in 1999's 'You're Dead' and said he was so taken by him he forgot his lines.

He wrote: "Sad re John Hurt. I was in a film with him and he was so mesmerising I kept forgetting to act and just watched him. A genius & lovely man (sic)"

Lost Boys star Kiefer Sutherland said: "My deepest sympathies to John Hurt's family friends and fans. He was a dear friend. (sic)"

Sharon Stone said: "God speed to John Hurt, a legendary and good human being (sic)"

And 59-year-old screenwriter Richard E. Grant wrote: "So so sad to have lost such an extraordinary talent and friend."

Sir John Hurt Over a career spanning six decades, John starred in a number of movies including The Naked Civil Servant', Midnight Express,Alien, 1984, the Harry Potter franchise and, most recently, Jackie.

He was nominated for two Academy Awards, for T_he Elephant Man _and Midnight Express.

In 2012, John was presented with a lifetime achievement award by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in July 2015.

One month earlier, in June 2015, John revealed that he was being treated for pancreatic cancer.

He said: "I have recently been diagnosed with early stage pancreatic cancer. I am undergoing treatment and am more than optimistic about a satisfactory outcome, as indeed is the medical team.

"I am continuing to focus on my professional commitments and will shortly be recording 'Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell' (one of life's small ironies!) for BBC Radio 4."

Despite his diagnosis, John remained upbeat and pledged to continue working, and in October of the same year he revealed he had been given the all-clear from cancer.

He said: "I had a final scan and it's all gone brilliantly.

"I am overjoyed, I am thrilled. It all looks great for the future, it's fantastic."

Speaking previously about his obituary, John revealed the advice his friend Sir Laurence Olivier, had given him.
He said: "I remember Olivier, when I was playing the Fool in his King Lear, saying: 'When it comes to the obituary, they'll only ever mention three things, probably two, but if you're lucky three.'

"And of course when he died, they mentioned Richard III, Henry IV and either Marathon Man or Wuthering Heights.

"I mean, if you write your own obituary, I don't know, they'd take the things that got awards wouldn't they? So it would beMidnight Express, it would be _Elephant Man _and Naked Civil Servant probably.

"I won't be here, I'll be gone so it'll be entirely up to them."