Sir John Hurt has died, and the world is grieving the loss of a talented actor. While many articles and writers recall the full timeline of Hurt’s filmography, the millennials using social media are focusing on his most recent roles–particularly his role in Harry Potter. This shows, however, Sir John Hurt’s impact even up to the end–and even on a much younger generation. Among his most recent achievements have been numerous films and television series in a variety of genres. Now, on sites like Twitter, the global community is giving back in the only way they know how: by remembering him will the roles that touched their lives.
Among his most recent credits are the BBC television shows Merlin and Doctor Who. In both cases, he played highly significant characters–the only catch was that we didn’t see him often. In the case of Merlin, we never saw John himself, since his character was a CGI dragon. While John Hurt was in no way the main character in either television show, fans locked onto him and adored him. In Merlin’s case, Hurt not only spoke the introduction to the show but captivated the hearts of his viewers. But in the case of Doctor Who, the actor quickly became iconic.
Probably shouldn't be my favourite John Hurt role but he did some awesome voice work in Merlin. pic.twitter.com/xPzeGJNZ2Q
— Blade Hawke (@HawkeBlade) January 28, 2017
Sir John Hurt was brought in for three episodes in Season 7: “The Name of the Doctor,” “The Night of the Doctor” and “The Day of the Doctor.” These episodes were written and created as a tribute to the show’s 50th Anniversary, and Hurt was cast as the “War Doctor”–that is, an older incarnation of the doctor during the days of the Time War. (For those of you who are not Doctor Who fans, sorry if you don’t know what any of that means.) Long story short, Hurt played the older, more conflicted version of the current main character–and fans ate it up. Although he only had a presence on the show lasting for three episodes, he is a lasting icon on the show. Entertainment Weekly noted the opinions fellow Doctor Matt Smith held of Hurt.
“He really delivers. I often go, ‘He’s just moving his eyes, and I’m literally climbing off the walls.'”
— Doctor Who Official (@bbcdoctorwho) January 28, 2017
And this is not just because of his character. Without skill and talent, the character might have been quickly disliked. Instead, Sir John Hurt brought a truly memorable aura to the character, and is now an enduring figure, Metro confirmed.
“It would have been easy to turn the War Doctor into a grumpy, battle scarred veteran or a dark and sinister, almost unrecognizable figure – but he’s neither. Instead Hurt played him like a prospective father-in-law on a stag weekend, with a touch of Midsomer Murders. You could almost picture him poaching rabbits from a nearby forest.”
Of course, what many millennials know John Hurt for is his role as Ollivander in the Harry Potter films. Metro reported that the actor’s performance and character was pivotal–and to this day, fans repeat the words that Ollivander spoke, Hurt’s voice echoing in their heads.
“The wand chooses the wizard, Mr. Potter. It’s not always clear why. But I think it is clear that we can expect great things from you. After all, He Who Must Not Be Named did great things – terrible, yes, but great.”
Just year ago we lost Alan Rickman aka. professor Snape, and now we are raising our wands again for John Hurt – Garrick Ollivander ✨ pic.twitter.com/0rmOCBgVNQ
— 5SOS Updates (@5SOSFamUpdater) January 28, 2017
[Featured Image by Warner Bros.]