John Hurt was an English actor whose career spanned over five decades. He gained BAFTA Award nominations for his portrayals of Timothy Evans in 10 Rillington Place and Quentin Crisp in television film The Naked Civil Servant – winning his first BAFTA for the latter. His BAFTA-nominated portrayal of astronaut Kane, in the science-fiction horror film Alien, yielded a scene where an alien creature burst out of his chest. It has been named by several publications as one of the most memorable moments in cinema history.
Hurt earned his third competitive BAFTA, along with his second Oscar and Golden Globe nominations, as John Merrick in David Lynch's biopic The Elephant Man. Other significant roles during the 1980s included Mr. Braddock in the Stephen Frears drama The Hit. Hurt was again BAFTA-nominated for his work in Irish drama The Field. Hurt was regarded as one of Britain's finest actors; director David Lynch described him as "simply the greatest actor in the world".