I remember this one

John Hurt, the widely-admired English actor who rose to fame playing flamboyant gay icon Quentin Crisp, has died aged 77.

There#’s a scene where he’s in the dock, wearing make up (no, not just stage, obviously). Made a hell of an impression if I can recall that all these years later. The character seemed to leap out of the screen*.

Oddly, I always thought he was Irish. Only English in the Peter O’Toole (who may actually have been born in England as well) sense, that the accent was trained.

*Scrolling down the article there’s a photo of it. But I remembered before scrolling down. And that photo does look very odd as well, that microphone is a bit modern for the time it is set isn’t it?

23 comments on “I remember this one

  1. John Hurt, the widely-admired English actor who rose to fame playing flamboyant gay icon Quentin Crisp, has died aged 77.

    That is an odd re-writing of history. Hurt came to fame for A Man For All Seasons surely? A decade before he played Crisp. In fact he had been working for 15 years before that role.

    I always thought he was Irish. I also always thought he was Gay. How else could he play Crisp? I mean, that’s cultural appropriation that is.

    For everyone under 60 he will only be remembered for Alien

  2. ‘For everyone under 60 he will only be remembered for Alien’

    And it’s because of that role that pregnant women freak me out. I mean, c’mon.

  3. SMFS,

    Oh, he was in all sorts of things recently: Harry Potter, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Not huge parts, but golden moments when he was on screen.

  4. Philip Scott Thomas – “And it’s because of that role that pregnant women freak me out. I mean, c’mon.”

    I have never felt the same about breakfast with my work mates. I need to find a pregnant woman and offer her a toy alien. I wonder what the result would be?

    Bloke in Wiltshire – “Oh, he was in all sorts of things recently: Harry Potter, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Not huge parts, but golden moments when he was on screen.”

    Well if he was in Harry Potter, the only thing anyone under 60 but over 20 will remember him in will be Alien. Presumably he will always be whatever character he played to the young’uns. But no one, no one at all, outside the flamboyant community will remember him as Crisp. Maybe apart from TW. I doubt anyone under 50 has even heard of Crisp.

  5. I’m not at all flamboyant and I vividly remember Naked Civil Servant. The scene where the taxi driver won’t take him, for example. Don’t forget Hellboy, either.

    RIP John.

  6. My better half, on hearing the news, said that facebook would be full of videos of the Alien scene with Trump bursting out of a writhing Hillary.
    I was almost as shocked as when she showed me the spoof John Lewis christmas video.

  7. He was also (guilty pleasure) the voice of the Great Dragon in Merlin a children’s TV series (2008 to 2012), where just his voice lifted the programme to a much higher level.

  8. Bloke in Wiltshire said:
    “Oh, he was in all sorts of things recently: Harry Potter, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Not huge parts, but golden moments when he was on screen.”

    Yes, superb; I thought his recent smaller parts were better than he was in Alien, particularly as M in Tinker Tailor (he also did a decent job as Dr Who on the telly). Hell, he was even good in that bloody ridiculous fourth Indiana Jones movie.

    I haven’t seen the Quentin Crisp movie (but, SMFS, I’ve read the book and I’m straight and still under fifty).

  9. Gays owe a debt of gratitude to John Hurt. For my generation, his sympathetic portrayal of the Quentin Crisp character was a significant plus in advancing their cause within the wider community.

  10. Richard,

    “Yes, superb; I thought his recent smaller parts were better than he was in Alien, particularly as M in Tinker Tailor (he also did a decent job as Dr Who on the telly). Hell, he was even good in that bloody ridiculous fourth Indiana Jones movie.”

    Other than the creature popping out of him, I don’t really remembering him as much of a character in Alien. Not like SW or Tom Skerrit or Ian Holm. And true, I think he was the only good thing about the last Indiana Jones movie (although I liked the “nuke the fridge” scene).

  11. Caligula in “I Claudius”

    Never heard of it…I presume you are referring to “I Clavdivs”?

    Those of who watched it first time around remember you see.

    Another reason to love 1976…if one were needed…

  12. I’m so glad I popped in and caught this thread on a mostly-British blog.

    Here in a flyover state, I haven’t met anyone who remembers “The Naked Civil Servant”. It may be 35 years since I’ve seen it, and it still carries a strong impression for me.

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