William Hurt Tributes Pour in After Actor Dies at Age 71

Tributes from fans and celebrities flooded social media on Sunday following the news that Oscar-winning actor William Hurt has died at age 71.

His death was announced by his son Will, who said that he passed "peacefully, among family, of natural causes" just one week before his 72nd birthday. A three-time nominee for Best Actor at the Academy Awards, Hurt has starred in films including Kiss of the Spider Woman, Body Heat, The Big Chill and Broadcast News.

"Grateful that I had the opportunity to work with William Hurt. I admired his acting so much and watching his commitment in person was remarkable. My thoughts are with his family," actor Topher Grace tweeted Sunday.

Several others paid tribute to the actor by applauding his performance in Broadcast News. Ashley Clark, the curatorial director for the Criterion Collection, shared an image of Hurt in the film calling his death "a real sad one."

"A perfect performance in a perfect movie. William Hurt was always such a pleasure to watch," she added.

"Honestly, I never saw a bad performance from William Hurt. Not once. But if I had to pick one performance. Just one from a remarkable career. It would be Broadcast News. RIP William Hurt," tweeted author Don Winslow.

"RIP William Hurt, 71.Terrific actor, loved him in Broadcast News," tweeted English broadcaster Piers Morgan.

Former professional basketball player and social media influencer Rex Chapman tweeted Sunday: "William Hurt as Richie Cusack in "A History of Violence" was pure genius. RIP, William..."

Others, including The New Yorker editor Jessica Winter, looked back on his acting streak from the 1980s.

"I watched so many William Hurt movies last summer when I was laid up. He was extraordinary and strange and deep and nobody will ever surpass that streak he had in the 80s," she tweeted.

Hurt won an Oscar for Best Actor in the 1985 film Kiss of the Spider Woman, and received nominations for Broadcast News, Children of a Lesser God and A History of Violence. The 71-year-old was known throughout his career as a diverse and dynamic performer, taking on roles in sci-fi horror films, neo-noirs, romantic comedies, and dramas. More recently, he was known by younger fans for playing General Thaddeus Ross in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

"He can play any kind of part he wants," producer Alan Ladd Jr. said of Hurt in a 1981 Rolling Stone cover story. "He's a great character actor, but let's face it, he's a leading man."

Hurt was born on March 20, 1950 in Washington, DC, and graduated with a degree from Juilliard School's drama division. He made his first big-screen appearance in the 1980 sci-fi horror film Altered States, before continuing a renowned cinematic career. He is survived by his four children.

William Hurt
Actor William Hurt attends the premiere of Marvel's Captain America: Civil War on April 12, 2016 in Hollywood. Earl Gibson III/Getty Images