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William Hurt

I was, like most, shocked and saddened to learn of the death of William Hurt.

He was a great actor and a unique leading man with his waspy beauty and deep intelligence combined with vulnerability. I can’t think of anybody else like him, and he was so wonderful in those 1980s films like Altered States, Body Heat, The Big Chill and The Accidental Tourist.

One of my all-time favorite movie endings is The Accidental Tourist, so brilliantly scored by John Williams—that shot where the glare on the windshield subsides so you can see Hurt sitting in the car:

That last close-up of Hurt is 13 seconds (I counted). The storytelling is all left to his face and to Williams’ score. That takes a lot of guts to leave for the composer in the editing room.

There was some unfortunate drama to his personal life, as I had forgotten the abuse allegations about Hurt from Marlee Matlin. She issued a polite comment upon his death.

R.I.P. to a magnificent actor.

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