Thursday 18 January 2018

Hurt's former love pays tribute to star

HAPPY TIMES: Sarah Owens was ‘proud’ to be part of John Hurt’s life Picture: Rex/Shutterstock
HAPPY TIMES: Sarah Owens was ‘proud’ to be part of John Hurt’s life Picture: Rex/Shutterstock
Niamh Horan

Niamh Horan

The long-time love of John Hurt, Sarah Owens, has paid tribute to the legendary actor following his death last week.

Dublin-born writer Sarah dated the veteran star for seven years, while the pair lived in Luggala in the Wicklow Mountains.

Speaking this weekend, Sarah said: "I'm proud to have been one of a special group of women that shared his life, each of us part of a different story at a different time."

With "the heaviest of hearts" she described Hurt (77) as "a fighter" to the last.

Paying tribute to "his wife Anwen, his sons Sasha and Nick, brother Michael, his loyal close friends", she said she knew "the enormous void" his passing would leave in their lives.

She added: "John always laughed that he had the best calibre of fans in the world - this was so true. So they too are in my thoughts today, as are the family of the endless production crew he so dearly loved.''

In a poignant few words she mused how "perhaps, there is an irony, in this time of his passing, that Orwell's novel 1984 has had such a recent resurgence. Given the John that I knew and loved, I believe he would hope that we take its message seriously".

The classic book - detailing a dystopian future where critical thought is suppressed under a totalitarian regime - has seen a surge in sales this month, rising to the top of the Amazon best-seller list in the United States and leading its publisher to print tens of thousands of new copies.

Penguin USA has ordered 75,000 new copies of the book this week and is considering another reprint.

Its increase in popularity is said to be linked to US President Donald Trump's inauguration and an 'alternative facts' quote by his adviser Kellyanne Conway.

Hurt had most recently starred as Father Richard McSorley in Jackie, the biopic of President John F Kennedy's wife.

Despite receiving the all-clear from pancreatic cancer, he pulled out of Sir Kenneth Branagh's production of The Entertainer on the advice of his doctors last year.

He died at his home in Norfolk.

Sunday Independent

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