Remembering William Hurt
(Photo: Hurt at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival from his Wikipedia page)
Stage & Studio focuses on an interview on Oscar-winning actor William Hurt who died in Portland on March 13, 2022. He was 71. A prolific actor both on stage and screen, he settled in Portland because he liked it here especially with the arts community and its closeness to nature. Hurt was also an avid golfer and took up bicycling when he lived here.
Hurt was also close friends with veteran actor and director Allen Nause who was the long-running artistic director of Artists Repertory Theatre. The two actors started out together as “spear carriers” in 1975 at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Many years later, they were still friends and in 2011 Hurt appeared onstage with Nause in Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land at Artists Rep. In the old Artists Rep space, it was intimate and immediate performance in close proximity to Hurt while performing.
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Bob Hicks wrote of Hurt’s performance: “Hurt seems to approach language as essentially rhythmic and musical, and he uses it and his assertive body language to establish not the facts but the essence of a character: He plays the language like a jazz improviser, like John Coltrane redefining a song.”
Shortly before the play opened Portland journalist and broadcaster Dave Paull interviewed Hurt thanks to Artists Rep’s publicist Nicole Lane. Paull delved into a deep and personal conversation with Hurt. He reached out to Dmae Lo Roberts to share this interview on Stage & Studio for the for the one-year anniversary of William Hurt’s passing.
Featured in more than 60 films such as Children of a Lesser God, The Big Chill, Broadcast News and Body Heat, Hurt won the Oscar in 1985 for his role in Kiss of the Spider Woman. But his first love was theater which led him back onstage to regional theatres, including doing four plays in Portland at Artists Rep. In this interview he speaks fondly of theater and what it meant to him throughout his life.
Dave Paull brings out this love and his commitment to the craft in this insightful conversation recorded in the studio at KINK FM recorded by engineer Alan Archer and first broadcast in 2011.
William Hurt died from complications of prostate cancer at his home in Northwest Portland on March 13th 2022. Film critic Roger Ebert wrote that William Hurt was “one of the two or three best actors in American movies.”
More about the interviewer:
Dave Paull reported the news for radio stations in Portland and Seattle. He was hired by King Broadcasting and managed the news department at 62 KGW Radio in Portland as News Director. Career highlights as a reporter and newscaster include covering major events in the Northwest, as well as initiating interviews with people from all walks of life. And there may have been a karaoke incident or two at station parties.
Concerned that local theatre history was being lost, Dave researched and wrote an article published by the Clark County Historical Society about the woman who founded the Slocum House Theatre, which closed after a 46 year run in Vancouver Washington.
During his retirement years Dave has been researching, writing and performing in short video documentaries. His entry ‘The Yaphet Kotto Story’ was a winner at the NewsFest International Film Festival in 2022. He contributes feature stories to FM News 101 KXL in Portland.