Actor whose career has stretched from Chekov and Pinter on stage to Hollywood blockbusters on screen. Claimed attention in television productions such as The Naked Civil Servant (1975) and I Claudius (1976), but best known for a series of 'victim-hero' roles in films such as 10 Rillington Place (1971), The Elephant Man (1980, BAFTA Award, 1981) and Champions (1984). Hurt appeared in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001) and recently gave a poignant and typically rich vocal performance as the narrator in Lars Von Trier's Dogville (2003). He reprised the role of Quentin Crisp in An Englishman in New York (2009). Pearson Wright approached Hurt while he was walking in Soho and invited him to sit for him while the actor was appearing on stage in Samuel Beckett's play, Krapp's Last Tape. Of the impromptu suggestion by the artist Hurt has commented 'somehow he just seemed right'. The portrait was made during several sittings in John Hurt's rooms in Covent Garden; it was shortlisted in the Garrick/Milne Portrait Prize in 2000.
Where to see this painting?
National Portrait Gallery, London
Not all paintings are on display. If you want to see a particular painting, please contact the collection