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John Hurt (1940-2017)

john-hurt

“I.AM.NOT.AN.ANIMAL!”

“I.AM.A.HUMAN.BEING!”

 

As of this writing, I have still yet to see The Elephant Man (1980), but even so I know the quote above. That is true power, when you know a quote from a movie you have not yet seen. It was, of course, delivered by Sir John Hurt, who died yesterday at the age of 77. He had recently announced his battle with cancer.

 

His career spanned over half a century, going back as far as his role as Rich in the Oscar-winning A Man for All Seasons (1966). He would later have roles in films such as 10 Rillington Place (1971), Midnight Express (1978), the animated version of The Lord of the Rings (1978, as the voice of Aragorn), and Alien (1979), with a death scene known to anyone, regardless of if they have seen or even heard of the movie before.

 

These days, he was also known as Mr. Ollivander from the first two (as well as last two) Harry Potter films, who was responsible for giving each witch and wizard his/her specific wand (and remembering every one he ever sold). One of my favorite performances of his was of The War Doctor in the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who (titled “The Day of the Doctor”). He was also most recently in last year’s Jackie (with Natalie Portman) as a Priest.

Going back to his immortal line in The Elephant Man (which I will definitely need to watch ASAP), I realize it is also a battle cry for all artists to the human race.

 

We are not animals. We are all human beings.

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