awards & nominations

The Elephant Man (1980)

John Hurt as "John Merrick, 'The Elephant Man'"

Dr. Frederic Treves (Anthony Hopkins) discovers Joseph (John) Merrick (John Hurt) in a sideshow. Born with a congenital disorder, Merrick uses his disfigurement to earn a living as the "Elephant Man." Treves brings Merrick into his home, discovering that his rough exterior hides a refined soul, and that Merrick can teach the stodgy British upper class of the time a lesson about dignity. Merrick becomes the toast of London and charms a caring actress (Anne Bancroft) before his death at 27.

Academy Award (1980)NominatedActor in a Leading Role
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1980)WonActor
Golden Globe (1980)NominatedBest Performance By an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama

Alien (1979)

John Hurt as "Engineer G.W. Kane"

In deep space, the crew of the commercial starship Nostromo is awakened from their cryo-sleep capsules halfway through their journey home to investigate a distress call from an alien vessel. The terror begins when the crew encounters a nest of eggs inside the alien ship. An organism from inside an egg leaps out and attaches itself to one of the crew, causing him to fall into a coma.

British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1979)NominatedSupporting Actor

Midnight Express (1978)

John Hurt as "Max"

Billy Hayes (Brad Davis) is a young American caught by Turkish police while attempting to smuggle hash out of Istanbul. He's tried and sent to prison for four years, where he endures all manner of privation and abuse. As he finishes up his time, he's shocked to learn that the Turkish High Court has added a further 30 years to his sentence. He is now thoroughly demoralized, and his life in prison grows increasingly unbearable until he concludes that escape is his only option.

Academy Award (1978)NominatedActor in a Supporting Role
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1978)WonSupporting Actor
Golden Globe (1978)WonBest Performance By an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

10 Rillington Place (1971)

John Hurt as "Timothy John Evans"

A seemingly model citizen living in mid-century London, John Christie (Richard Attenborough) is actually a killer. Masquerading as a doctor, he convinces guileless women that he can cure whatever might ail them, and when they follow him to his home, he chokes them to death and buries them in a makeshift graveyard. Based on a series of real-life killings, the story follows John as he cons a pregnant bride (Judy Geeson) and wonders if he might have found a scapegoat in her husband (John Hurt).

British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1971)NominatedSupporting Actor