Sir John Hurt was so many people.
He was Quentin Crisp in the massively acclaimed The Naked Civil Servant.
He was the voice of the Dragon in Merlin.
He was the Alien crewmember who memorably and graphically had an alien burst through his chest.
He was The Elephant Man.
He was Caligula in hit miniseries I, Claudius.
He was the War Doctor in Doctor Who.
He was a hellraiser, one of the crowd with Peter O’Toole, and didn't give up the drink and smoking until after he married for the fourth time in 2005. He was staying with Richard Burton the night Burton died and always refused to talk about that night. He was a man who possessed the most incredible raspy evocative voice.
He was a man who knew that playing a vivid variety of roles meant you were never pigeon-holed and never bored. He was delighted by the reception he received from Doctor Who fans for his work on the 50th Anniversary Special and went on to record a series of Doctor Who audio plays as the War Doctor.
I will think of him as the War Doctor, for his work in Hellboy and V for Vendetta, for his fabulous craggy looks, his utter bravery in taking on literally anything and relishing a challenge, and for that amazing voice. I don’t know if I really have the words to sum up the astonishing rich long life of John Hurt. I just know he was many things and many people and that he was absolutely adored.
I’ll end with a link to my favourite John Hurt story that I read in the aftermath of his passing. It’s just wonderful and makes me smile every time I read it.