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JOHN HURT plays the sagacious village doctor in Captain Corelli's Mandolin. In the actor's own words, "The character's awareness of history and of what's happening at the time is part and parcel of the piece itself, and makes him almost a chorus to the story.

Born in 1940, the son of Arnold Herbert (an Anglican vicar) and Phyllis Massey (an engineer and amateur actress), Hurt attended schools in Kent and Lincoln. He was a stagehand with the Lincoln Repertory and studied Art at St. Martin's School, London before winning a scholarship to RADA.

Hurt is one of Britain's best—known, critically acclaimed and most versatile actors. He made his West End debut in 1962 and went on to take the 1963 Critic's Award for Most Promising Actor in Harold Pinter's The Dwarfs. For the stage. John has also appeared in Pinter's The Caretaker. O'Casey's Shadow of a Gunman, Stoppard's Travesties for the RSC and Turgenev's A Month in the Country. The year 2000 saw his greatly acclaimed performance in Samuel Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape in London's West End. He will reprise this role onstage in October in Dublin and New York.

Hurt's impressive body of television work commenced in 1961 and has included such notable roles as Caligula in I, Claudius, Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment and, most memorably, as Quentin Crisp in the autobiographical The Naked Civil Servant (for which he received a Best Actor Emmy and a BAFTA Best Television Actor Award) which led Crisp to opine that 'John Hurt is my representative here on Earth'.

It was his defining film roles as Max in Midnight Express (1978) and as John Merrick in The Elephant Man (1980) that thrust him into the international spotlight with Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actor and Best Actor, respectively. His other film work includes a trio of roles in 1984 which rewarded him with the Evening Standard Award for Best Actor for: 1984, The Hit and Champions. His many films include A Man For All Seasons, The Field, Scandal, Rob Roy and John Boorman's Two Nudes Bathing, the latter bringing him a Cable Ace Award in 1995, and an acclaimed performance in Richard Kwietniowski's Love and Death on Long Island.

He recently finished filming Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape directed by Atom Egoyan, Tabloid TV directed by David Blair, Miranda directed by Mark Munden and Harry Potter directed by Chris Columbus.

Hurt lives in the Wicklow Mountains, Ireland, a country which he has considered home since 1967 when he played his first leading role in John Huston's Sinful Davey.

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