Marvel Actor William Hurt Dies

By Richard Nebens Updated:
William Hurt, MCU

MCU Star William Hurt Passes Away

William Hurt MCU roles

Deadline reported that Hollywood star William Hurt has passed away at age 71. The news came from his son, Will, who offered the following message from their family:

It is with great sadness that the Hurt family mourns the passing of William Hurt, beloved father and Oscar winning actor, on March 13, 2022, one week before his 72nd birthday. He died peacefully, among family, of natural causes. The family requests privacy at this time.”

Hurt was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer that had spread to the bone, which was announced in May 2018.

One of Hurt's many roles came in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross. He played the role in The Incredible Hulk, Captain America: Civil War, and Avengers: Infinity War; he also made a cameo in the closing moments of Avengers: Endgame and reprised the role in Black Widow.

Hurt's career in Hollywood spanned more than four decades with credits in over 100 movies and TV shows, including other widely-popular films like Lost in Space (1998), and Robin Hood (2010).

He earned countless accolades and awards throughout his time in Hollywood, including four Academy Award nominations - he even received three consecutive nominations between 1985 and 1987. He won the Oscar for Best Actor in 1987 after his performance in Kiss of the Spider Woman.

William Hurt - A Marvel Studios Pioneer

MCU fans have endured numerous tragic deaths over the past few years from all corners of the franchise. This includes Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman in 2020 and Moon Knight actor Gaspard Ulliel earlier in 2022, and it now moves to a star with one of the longest careers in MCU history.

Hurt first embodied the merciless Thunderbolt Ross in 2008's The Incredible Hulk alongside Edward Norton and Tim Roth as they helped give the MCU only its second movie. That film was one of the building blocks for everything Marvel built in the years following, and his role became one of the highlights of that story as the franchise expanded its borders.

He would return eight years later in Captain America: Civil War as the man behind the Sokovia Accords, entangling himself in the Avengers' affairs and getting under the skin of everybody in that team-up outing. Ross continued ruffling feathers in Avengers: Infinity War before paying his respects to the late Tony Stark in Avengers: Endgame, always lurking in the shadows of everything happening.

Black Widow even brought the general back into the spotlight in its opening present-day scene as he tried and failed to track down Natasha Romanoff. While rumors pointed to him potentially reprising the role in this year's She-Hulk, five MCU movies over the span of 13 years is an accomplishment that can't be taken lightly. 

Hurt made his mark on the MCU almost instantly, especially during his first interaction with Tony Stark at the end of The Incredible Hulk. Combine this with his impressive career outside the Marvel world, and it makes for a run in Hollywood rivaled only by a few.

The Direct sends our condolences to William Hurt's family and the entire MCU community during this difficult time.

- In This Article: Black Widow
Release Date
July 09, 2021
- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.