For Hellboy fans this will be a sad case of life imitating art. As you’ll recall, when we first meet Professor Broom, as played by John Hurt, in the present day, he’s given a cancer diagnosis. In that fictional instance, the diagnosis was terminal, but now the real-life actor Hurt has himself been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Although he’s enjoyed a career on stage and screen spanning nearly six decades, Hurt is widely known for the various nerdy projects he’s been attached to, from Alien to next summer’s Tarzan adaptation. Still busy at the age of 75, Hurt’s message to fans is that he will remain active with his acting work even as he fights his cancer diagnosis.
“I have always been open about the way in which I conduct my life and in that spirit I would like to make a statement. I have recently been diagnosed with early stage pancreatic cancer,” Hurt told the Press Association (via the BBC). “I am undergoing treatment and am more than optimistic about a satisfactory outcome, as indeed is the medical team.”
Indeed as he’s preparing to tackle cancer, Hurt is planning on tackling a greater challenge, filling the shoes of the late great Peter O’Toole in a radio play version of Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell. “I am continuing to focus on my professional commitments and will shortly be recording ‘Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell’ (one of life’s small ironies!) for BBC Radio 4.”
Hurt’s in good company in terms of famous Brits with pancreatic cancer. Wilko Johnson from Game of Thrones is currently recovering from a terminal diagnosis after radical surgery removed a 6 lbs tumor last year. Thankfully, Hurt is not terminal, but it goes to show that even when you’re given a death sentence, there’s still reason to hope that cancer can be beaten.
Speaking for the Nerd Bastards, I wish Sir John the best of luck and all our hopes and prayers for a speedy and successful recovery. We’ll keep you posted with news of Hurt’s progress as it comes in.
Source: The Mary Sue