'He was the most talented actor, and also a deeply good and funny and poetic and smart and warm human being,' the actress says

By Derek Lawrence
January 28, 2017 at 07:28 AM EST
Bruno Calvo
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British actor John Hurt, who died Wednesday at age 77, appeared in more than 100 films during his distinguished career, with the latest being the award-nominated Jackie. Hurt shares his scenes in the movie with Natalie Portman, with whom he also costarred in 2005’s V for Vendetta. She and Jackie director Pablo Larraín are remembering the late star.

“I’m so extremely sad to hear of John’s passing,” Portman said. “I was lucky enough to make two films with him — both of which were taken to the next level because of his performances. He was the most talented actor, and also a deeply good and funny and poetic and smart and warm human being. I send my love to his family at this terrible time, and join his fans in watching his films that we are lucky enough to have forever.”

In a statement to EW, Larraín said, “John was invincible. Unflinching. Eternal.”

Hurt played a central role in the Chilean director’s drama about former first lady Jackie Kennedy’s life after the assassination of her husband. In his final film to be released before his death, Hurt portrayed Father Richard McSorley, the priest who would become Kennedy’s confidante who officiated the reburial of her late children next to their father at Arlington National Cemetery.

In a preview of the movie below, which features a small portion of Hurt’s poignant scenes opposite Natalie Portman (with whom he also costarred in 2005’s V for Vendetta), producer Darren Aronofsky calls Hurt, “one of the great actors who’s ever graced us. … There’s just tremendous complexity to everything he says.”

Jackie was nominated for three Academy Awards this week, including Portman for Best Actress.

Other celebrities, such as Mel Brooks, Sharon Stone, and Kiefer Sutherland have shared their tributes to Hurt on social media.

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