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David recalls: The Elephant Man, a sad story about a deformed man, rescued from a fairground freak show to become a member of fashionable society, was generating a lot of publicity. I went to John’s home to photograph him, he was living alone at the time, his marriage over. I feel that windows are emotive – peering through them, looking for something, waiting for someone. John, standing by that window gave the feeling he was either looking into the future, or looking back on past problems. The eyes are the mirrors of the soul…that is certainly true of John Hurt. I took the photograph and expected him to walk away, but he just stood there, frozen in thought.
Location: Oxfordshire, England
Year: 1980
Biography: A true British acting giant, notable for his extraordinary ability to take on and seemingly inhabit eccentric roles – from the voice-over of a rabbit in Watership Down (1978) to his heart-breaking performance in the difficult title role of The Elephant Man (1980) for which he was nominated for an Oscar. Fame followed his role in Zinnemann’s classic A Man for all Seasons (1966), and despite a busy stage career – much of it with the Royal Shakespeare Company – he found time to put in famous screen performances, notably as an eccentric, wasted drug addict in Alan Parker’s Midnight Express (1978) – earning another nomination for an Academy Award – and as Kane in Alien (1979), providing one of cinema’s most shocking scenes when an alien bursts through his stomach.
Print Type: Digital C-Type
Printed by: Metro Imaging, London
Limited Editions: All prints are limited editions, no further prints are produced once sold
Bespoke: All prints are bespoke and printed to order, stamped and numbered
Presentation: Prints are supplied to clients flat in an acid-free box or rolled in a tube
Watermark: Watermarks will not be present on an original print
Tags: john hurt, british actor, english, film, screen, movies, the elephant man, john merrick, richard rich, a man for all seasons, quentin crisp, the naked civil servant, 1984, nineteen eighty four, the hit, profumo affair, scandal, midnight express, alien, rob roy, v for vendetta, india jones and the kingdom of the crystal skull, harry potter series, hellboy, tinker tailor soldier spy, doctor who, merlin, the lord of the rings
Copyright: © David Steen / The David Steen Archive