Sir John Hurt, CBE, 1940 – 2017

Today brings the sad news that actor John Hurt has died at the age of 77. First seen by a wide audience in Robert Bolt’s classic 1966 film A Man for All Seasons, starring the great Paul Scofield as Thomas More, Hurt played the villainous and ruthlessly ambitious Richard Rich who betrays More for the reward of being appointed Attorney General for Wales. In real life, Rich later became Lord Chancellor of England and, history tells us, the – by then Baron – Rich, died peacefully in his bed aged 70. But many will regard Hurt’s BAFTA-nominated portrayal of Timothy Evans, in the 1970 film 10 Rillington Place, as his finest hour and, alongside Richard Attenborough as John Christie, it is certainly a compelling performance and one of the most impressive aspects of that film, for all its factual failings.