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Born in 1940, the son of Arnold Herbert (an Anglican vicar) and Phyllis Massey (an engineer and amateur actress), JOHN HURT (Ben) 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.

John 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 Critics' Award for Most Promising Actor in Harold Pinter's The Dwarfs. 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.

John'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 that year: 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 for which he received a Cable Ace Award in 1995), and an acclaimed performance in Richard Kwietniowski's Love and Death on Long Island. John was also seen as Dr. Iannis in Captain Corelli's Mandolin, directed by John Madden.

In 1999 John filmed Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape, directed by Atom Egoyan, and Tabloid TV, directed by David Blair in 2000. 2001 was spent filming Miranda, directed by Mark Munden; Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, directed by Chris Columbus; and Owning Mahony, directed by Richard Kwietniowski.

In 2002, John won the Variety Club Award for Outstanding Performance in a Stage Play (alongside Penelope Wilton) for his performance in Brian Friel's Afterplay. This was followed by the film Hellboy, directed by Guillermo del Toro for Revolution Studios, and The Alan Clark Diaries for the BBC, which received great critical acclaim. More recently, John filmed Shooting Dogs, directed by Michael Caton-Jones, and The Proposition, directed by John Hilcote.

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