Oscar-winner William Hurt died Sunday at 71, ending the weekend on a sad note for film fans and closing out a career marked by prestigious roles. While he starred in acclaimed films like Broadcast News and Kiss of the Spider Woman, he is also well known for his mainstream appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and most recently a role on Amazon's Goliath alongside Billy Bob Thornton.
Hurt's son shared a statement on the passing Sunday, including a hint at the cause of death until authorities confirm it. According to the statement from son Will Hurt, his father "died peacefully, among family, of natural causes."
William Hurt, the acclaimed actor best known for his Oscar-winning performance in 1985’s “Kiss of the Spider Woman” and his work in “Broadcast News,” “A History of Violence” and “Children of a Lesser God,” has died at 71 years old. https://t.co/g2BhtVlNbI pic.twitter.com/RxvAwwgxII— Variety (@Variety) March 13, 2022
Natural causes can mean many different ailments and issues, but the easiest way to define it is by defining "natural" in the phrase. According to LiveScience, "natural causes" are simply internal factors. This could be a disease, medical condition, or just some failure in the organs.
It stands in contrast to external factors and trauma, like accidents, shootings and other external items. "It just means there was nothing non-natural that happened in [the patient's] cause of death," Dr. Patricia Allenby is quoted as saying by the outlet.
In Hurt's case, a more thorough exam of his body or rulings by investigators would be needed to specify the cause of death beyond what is known. Hopefully, more will come to light in the future, but for now, we can just enjoy his career and honor his talent.
R.I.P. William Hurt. So sad to hear this news. Working with him on Broadcast News was amazing. He will be greatly missed.— Albert Brooks (@AlbertBrooks) March 13, 2022
The actor jumped from the stage to the screen in 1980 with a role in Ken Russell's Altered States, kicking off an over 40-year-career that saw four Oscar nominations and one win, walking away with a Best Actor statue for Kiss of the Spider Woman. He was also nominated for Children of a Lesser God, Broadcast News and later A History of Violence with director David Cronenberg.
Hurt will see his final performance hit Disney+ soon, returning as General Thunderbolt Ross in She-Hulk later in 2022. Some reports also indicate he was attached to another TV series, Pantheon, and several films, including The Fence, Men of Granite and Edward Enderby. According to the Independent, it is unsure if Hurt completed his work on these projects before his passing.