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Hurt Earns Oscar Nomination

Hurt Earns Oscar NominationTufts graduate and Academy Award-winning actor William Hurt was nominated for an Oscar this week for his supporting role in “A History of Violence.”

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [02.02.06] William Hurt is no stranger to Hollywood’s highest honor: the Academy Award. During the 1980s, he earned three Oscar nominations and took home the famous gold statue for his leading role in "Kiss of the Spider Woman.” Two decades later, the 1972 Tufts graduate is in the running once again. This time, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has recognized Hurt for his supporting role in “A History of Violence.”

Hurt, who won an Oscar in 1985 for his portrayal of a flamboyant transvestite in "Kiss of the Spider Woman," played brutal mobster Richie Cusack in the David Cronenberg-directed “A History of Violence,” which is the story of an average American family that gets mixed up with organized crime.

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One of Hollywood's Finest

According to The New York Times, the film is a “masterpiece of indirection and pure visceral thrills,” as well as “a sensational moviegoing experience.”

“A History of Violence” was “superbly acted by all the principals, including, in a nice surprise, William Hurt, who delivers a beautiful showboat of a performance late in the film,” added the Times.

Although deserved, Hurt’s Oscar nomination was unusual since he only makes a brief appearance at the end of the film. Though short on time, the London Free Press described Hurt’s appearance as “scene-stealing.”

The Contra Costa Times, which also characterized Hurt’s nomination as a “surprise,” praised him for his “wonderful” and “strong” performance.

Hurt’s acting roots trace back to his time at Tufts, where he was a theology major until the theater captured his attention. He went on to train at Juilliard in New York City before establishing himself as a talented young stage actor who earned Oscar nominations for his leading roles in “Children of a Lesser God” in 1986 and also “Broadcast News” in 1987. His other credits include “The Big Chill,” “The Village” and “Frankenstein.”

This year’s Academy Awards will be handed out during a ceremony at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles on March 5.



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