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Mel Brooks leads tributes to veteran actor John Hurt

The Elephant Man star died on Friday (27Jan17) after a battle with cancer.

Legendary filmmaker Mel Brooks has led tributes to "truly magnificent" actor John Hurt.

The British star passed away on Friday (27Jan17) at the age of 77 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Hurt, well-known for playing Kane in Ridley Scott's sci-fi thriller Alien, earned two Oscar nominations during his career for prison drama Midnight Express and Joseph Merrick biopic The Elephant Man.

Brooks, who knew Hurt through work on The Elephant Man and 1987's Spaceballs, posted a touching tribute on Twitter after hearing news of the actor's death.

"It was terribly sad today to learn of John Hurt's passing. He was a truly magnificent talent. No one could have played The Elephant Man more memorably. He carried that film into cinematic immortality. He will be sorely missed."

A number of other Hollywood stars have followed suit in honouring Hurt, with Kiefer Sutherland posting, "My deepest sympathies to John Hurt's family, friends and fans. He was a dear friend."

Chris Evans, who starred in 2013's sci-fi thriller Snowpiercer alongside Hurt, was full of praise for the actor's talent.

"John Hurt was one of the most powerful, giving, and effortlessly real actors I've ever worked with. Remarkable human being. U will be missed (sic)," the Captain America star wrote on Twitter.

Octavia Spencer, who also had a role in Snowpiercer, shared a smiling photo of Hurt on Instagram, and revealed the actor would regale the cast with his legendary stories while she played an obscenely named card game called Sh**head with co-stars Jamie Bell and Tilda Swinton.

"Though John and Chris Evans would never play, we'd all convene at our table in base camp and listen to John recount tales of his varied sets throughout the years. I was in awe of him because he always looked regal even though we played unwashed rebels in a post-apocalyptic film. I can't explain it... He was such an interesting man! Miss you, John," she wrote.

While Bell shared a message on Twitter, noting, "I will forever cherish the memories I have of the incomparable John Hurt. A brilliant actor & a beautiful soul."

Ron Perlman, who starred opposite Hurt in the Hellboy movies, posted a snap of him in character as the hellish red beast alongside the late actor with a sweet caption, "Sir John. Pops. Devastated...."

Hurt also starred in the Harry Potter movie franchise, playing wandmaker Ollivander in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 and 2.

"So very sad to hear that the immensely talented and deeply beloved John Hurt has died. My thoughts are with his family and friends," Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling posted on Twitter.

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