Marlee Matlin reflected on William Hurt’s death during a brief interview with Entertainment Tonight at the Critics Choice Awards. Hurt died March 13 at 71 years old following a battle with prostate cancer. Matlin and Hurt starred opposite one another in the 1986 drama “Children of a Lesser God,” which won Matlin the Oscar for best actress. The two performers began dating when Matlin was 19 years old and Hurt was 35.
“You’re the first person to ask me about him,” Matlin told ET. “We’ve lost a really great actor and working with him on set in ‘Children of a Lesser God’ will always be something I remember very fondly. He taught me a great deal as an actor and he was one-of-a-kind.”
Matlin detailed Hurt’s alleged abuse against her in her autobiography, “I’ll Scream Later.” The actor said Hurt “threw me on the bed, started ripping off his clothes and mine” and raped her. Hurt also allegedly berated Matlin after her Oscar win, telling her, “What makes you think you deserve it? There are hundreds of actors who have worked for years for the recognition you just got handed to you. Think about that.”
Hurt issued a statement following the publication of Matlin’s memoir in which he said, “My own recollection is that we both apologized and both did a great deal to heal our lives. Of course, I did and do apologize for any pain I caused. And I know we both have grown. I wish Marlee and her family nothing but good.”
Matlin was in attendance at the Critics Choice Awards on behalf of “CODA,” which was nominated for best picture and several other awards. Matlin’s co-star Troy Kotsur won the prize for supporting actor, an honor he also collected at the BAFTA Film Awards and Independent Spirit Awards. “CODA” is nominated for three Oscars, including best picture.
Hurt’s death was confirmed to Variety by his friend, Gerry Byrne. The actor’s son, Will, said in a statement, “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.”