William Hurt, Oscar-Winning Actor of Kiss of the Spider Woman and Multiple MCU Films, Dies at 71

William Hurt, the Oscar-winning actor of Kiss of the Spider Woman who also played Thaddeus E. “Thunderbolt” Ross in multiple MCU films, has died at the age of 71.

Hurt passed away from natural causes on Sunday, March 13, and his death was confirmed to Variety by his friend, Gerry Byrne. Over the course of his impressive film career, he was nominated four times for an Academy Award for his work in Kiss of the Spider Woman, Children of a Lesser God, Broadcast News, and A History of Violence.

Image Credit: Earl Gibson III / WireImage

Image Credit: Earl Gibson III / WireImage

What is perhaps most notable about these nominations were that Kiss of the Spider Woman, Children of a Lesser God, and Broadcast News all came one year after another. Despite only winning one Oscar, the nominations alone cemented his place as one of Hollywood’s greats.

He was also well-known by many in the modern era for his work as Thaddeus E. “Thunderbolt” Ross in multiple MCU films. He first appeared as Ross in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, and would continue to star in Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, and Black Widow.

Marvel Studios shared a few words on Twitter for Hurt, saying, “Rest In Peace to an amazing talent William Hurt, beloved Thaddeus ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross in our Marvel Cinematic Universe.”

Hurt also made a mark in the world of television, where he earned both a Golden Globe and Emmy nomination for his performance as Daniel Purcell in Damages and as Henry Paulson in Too Big to Fail. He would also earn a Tony Award nomination in 1985 for his part in the Broadway production of Hurlyburly.

Hurt was born on March 20, 1950, in Washington, DC, and would attend Tufts University as a theology major before going to Julliard to study acting. While he started his career on stage, he would make his big-screen debut as Eddie Jessup in Ken Russell’s Altered State. He made a great first impression as he was nominated for a Golden Globe for New Star of the Year.

Body Heat was one of his first breakout hits and he would continue to star in lead roles in films and television in countless other projects for the rest of his career.

In May 2018, it was announced that Hurt was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer that had spread to the bone.

Hurt married twice, first to Mary Beth Hurt in 1971 (divorced in 1982) and then to Heidi Henderson in 1989 (divorced in 1992). He is survived by his four children.

Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.

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