John Hurt 1940 – 2017

“As Beckett said, it’s not enough to die, one has to be forgotten as well.”


Sir John Vincent Hurt has died at the age of 77, it has been confirmed.

He was known to the Doctor Who fan-base as the War Doctor.

On 30th March 2013, Doctor Who Magazine announced that Hurt had been cast in the 50th anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor.

Following a surprise cameo appearance at the end of the previous episode, The Name of the Doctor, Hurt’s character was revealed to be the Doctor’s true ninth incarnation, who’d been kept secret by the Doctor due to the role this version of the character – known as the War Doctor – played in the Time War.

Hurt’s War Doctor also appeared in an online mini-episode, The Night of the Doctor, which told the War Doctor’s origins following the regeneration of the Eighth Doctor, Paul McGann.

Hurt’s own regeneration as the Doctor was depicted in The Day of the Doctor, which tied the character into the continuity of Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor.

When cast at the age of 73, Hurt became the oldest actor to be cast as the Doctor, and the first actor to take the role during the New Series who was born before Doctor Who began – as well as the only Oscar-nominated actor to have been cast at all.

Hurt returned to the role in 2015 in a series of audio dramas that chronicled the War Doctor’s adventures during the Time War that made him so infamous.

Outside of Doctor Who, Hurt was also known as Winston Smith in the film Nineteen Eighty-Four, which is based on the novel that has recently seen a resurgence by becoming an Amazon best-seller.

Hurt’s long career was celebrated by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in 2012 for Outstanding Contributions to Cinema.

Author: alexsigsworth

Basically... run.

1 thought on “John Hurt 1940 – 2017”

  1. Saw him speak at Gallifrey One in Los Angeles a year ago. He read out the Hartnell farewell-to-Susan speech from “The Dalek Invasion of Earth”. Totally brought the room down. Such a charming and polite man. And made “Doctor Who” an infinitely classier place.


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