Hurt died, at age 77, of pancreatic cancer Jan. 27 at his home in Norfolk, England. These are my favorites of his films.
The Naked Civil Servant
The performance that put Hurt on the map was his channeling of Quentin Crisp in a 1975 British TV movie. Cloaked in white makeup, with a shock of orange hair and a bombs-away bitchery as unapologetic as Johnny Rotten’s sneer, Hurt’s Crisp is effete , delicate, and merciless. The beauty of the performance is that it’s not a plea for “tolerance” so much as for the insane glory of the individual.