John Hurt was born in the village of Shirebrook in Derbyshire. He was the second son of the local parson and his wife. He has an older brother Michael and an older sister called Monica.
At the age of 18, John walked out of the St. Martin's School of Art in London after discovering that his true ambition was to act. His talent hadn't had to develop with him, it has always been there. He knew, deep down, that he'd wanted to act since appearing in the plays put on at his school.
In 1985, he married his long-term friend Donna, but the marriage did not last and whilst filming abroad, John met a French model- Marie-Lise Volpeliere Pierrot. They were never in a stable relationship however and grew apart, although they were still friends. Tragedy struck when Marie-Lise was killed in a horse-riding accident.
John Hurt has won awards for the following appearances:
1963- Most Promising Actor 'Variety' for playing Len in 'The Dwarfs'.
1978-Best Supporting Actor, British Film and Television Academy; Best Supporting Actor; all for his role as Max in 'Midnight Express'.
1979-Best Film Actor, Variety Club of Great Britain, for his roles in 'Alien' and 'Midnight Express'.
1981-Best Film Actor, Variety Club of Great Britain, both for his starring role in 'The Elephant Man'.
1984-Best Film Actor, London Standard Awards, for his role as Winston Smith in '1984'.