Movie star William Hurt finds it difficult to be shocked by disasters and tragedies he sees on TV because he grew up watching people die on his doorstep.

The Oscar-winning KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN star lived in poverty-stricken areas of Asia and Africa when he was a child and saw the worst aspects of life.

He explains, "I've people die on our doorstep in dust storms and of starvation. I was dragged in the streets by my father when I was eight-years-old because I was biting his leg. I was making him bleed because he wouldn't give more money to these beggars.

"One boy, in particular, had his leg slashed, so it would be amputated and he would be a better beggar. I saw a lot that Americans never see."