In the Queen’s annual bestowing of honours (yes, with the vestigial U), which are held at the end of each calendar year, an actor who is truly one in a million has finally been honored with Knighthood: John Em-Effing Hurt. The 74-year-old actor, who has literally been in everything awesome in his 50 year career, was the only male in the entertainment industry given the title this year, along with brand new Dames, actress and writer Joan Collins, poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, TV presenter Esther Rantzen, actress Kristin Scott Thomas, and fashion designer Mary Quant. Actor, writer, and soon-to-be Late Late Show host James Corden and actress Sheridan Smith were given OBEs (or “Order of the British Empire”) at the same ceremony.
While all of the honourees were deserving, Hurt’s seems the most overdue, having appeared in 195 film and television titles since 1962 and being one of the most reliably fantastic British actors of all time, not to mention the person who’s died the most onscreen, beating out Sean Bean. Hurt’s studied effortlessness and singular, raspy delivery make him one of the most sought-after character actors working today, and his penchant for being in science fiction films means he’s a staple of the things we here at Nerdist, and presumably our readers, love the most.
It would certainly be impossible to list everything we love that he’s done, but some of our favorites include Kane in Alien, John Merrick in The Elephant Man, Professor Bruttenholm in Hellboy, Control in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Ollivander in the first and last Harry Potter films, Hadden in Contact, the titular role in Jim Henson’s The Storyteller, Winston Smith in Nineteen Eighty-Four, Aragorn in Ralph Bakshi’s 1978 animated The Lord of the Rings and, of course, the War Doctor in Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary special, “The Day of the Doctor.”
Congratulations to Sir John Hurt on this honor/honour and, though we aren’t British nor do we have any say in anything, we think this should have been given to him quite a long time ago.
[HT: BBC News]