It’s already shaping up to be a bloodthirsty year. That’s the trouble with the perception of growing up with the legends of yesteryear. Sooner or later, the wheel turns.
This one’s tough for me. John Hurt was an amazing character actor whose work I’ve enjoyed since I first became aware of him, which was pretty early on. I put him in that same tier of quality with the likes of Derek Jacobi, Judi Dench, David Warner, Patrick Stewart, and Ian McKellan… the type who are professional to the end and impervious to a bad performance even if the story (or adaptation of it) around them isn’t worthy of their talent. This man was the first film Aragorn in 1978’s animated The Lord of the Rings. The sheer amount of sci-fi and fantasy that I’ve seen (or heard) him in since is just staggering, to say nothing of everything else he’s accomplished. He was always there, where you least expected it, turning out one performance after the next. The hero, the master villain, the doddering supporting character… he could do it all.
Farewell, Mr. Hurt. Some may step up to your place on stage, but none will fill your shoes.