Sunday 25 September 2016

Sir John Hurt 'optimistic' about pancreatic cancer treatment

Published 11/08/2015 | 00:08

Sir John Hurt questioned attitudes towards alcohol
Sir John Hurt questioned attitudes towards alcohol

Veteran actor Sir John Hurt has said his cancer treatment is "going terrifically well" and he continues to be "optimistic".

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The star, 75, has enjoyed a successful career with notable roles including Quentin Crisp in The Naked Civil Servant, the title role in The Elephant Man and a recurring role in the Harry Potter films.

Speaking to the Radio Times magazine, he said: "I can't say I worry about mortality, but it's impossible to get to my age and not have a little contemplation of it.

"We're all just passing time, and occupy our chair very briefly. But my treatment is going terrifically well, so I'm optimistic."

In June, in a statement released to the Press Association, Sir John said: ''I have always been open about the way in which I conduct my life and in that spirit I would like to make a statement.

''I have recently been diagnosed with early stage pancreatic cancer. I am undergoing treatment and am more than optimistic about a satisfactory outcome, as indeed is the medical team.

''I am continuing to focus on my professional commitments and will shortly be recording Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell (one of life's small ironies!) for BBC Radio 4.''

In his interview with the Radio Times, Sir John spoke about being knighted by the Queen for his glittering career.

"I did nothing to encourage it," he said, adding: "Some people do, you know."

The leading man said: "I like being Sir John - it works, doesn't it? Or John. The only thing that sticks in my craw is when people say 'Mr Hurt'. I tell them it's no longer correct."

Sir John also discussed alcohol and political correctness.

He said: "We've become obsessed with the dangers of alcohol - you get newspaper articles that are entirely over the top. There's political correctness as well.

"I wonder who instigated that. Where does it come from, and who says what is or is not politically correct? And as for the way you have to treat women these days..."

The British actor has been nominated for two Oscars, for The Elephant Man and Midnight Express, and h e enjoyed a big hit with sci-fi horror Alien in 1979.

Sir John has been busy in recent months, filming the new Tarzan with Samuel L Jackson and Margot Robbie.

He also starred in a special 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who.

Sir John, who played Caligula in the celebrated BBC drama I, Claudius, also made his name with a series of stage roles.

On the big screen, he played Mr Ollivander, a wand merchant, in several Harry Potter films.

Other recent movies include V for Vendetta (2005), Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull (2008), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011), and Hercules (2014).

Other roles have included his performance as Stephen Ward - a key figure in the Profumo affair - in Scandal and a reprisal of his role as Crisp for An Englishman In New York in 2009, 34 years after his original portrayal of the flamboyant figure.

His distinctive voice has been used several times as narrator, and accompanied a chilling Aids awareness advertising campaign in the 1980s.

After going to art college, Sir John studied at Rada (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) when he landed a scholarship.

Press Association

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