John Hurt is to receive the Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema Award at the BaftAs in February.The seventy two year old actor is well known for his roles as John Merrick in The Elephant Man (1980); Kane in Alien (1979) and more recently as Mr. Ollivander in the Harry Potter franchise, among others. He also worked with some iconic people in cinema, including Laurence Olivier; Orson Welles and Richard Burton.
The Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema Award was introduced in 1978. Previous recipients have been Ridley Scott; Mike Leigh and Kenneth Branagh. In 2011, the Harry Potter films won the award.In a statement, Hurt expressed how honoured he was to receive the award. 'I know that film means a great deal to me but I had no idea that I meant so much to film.'
Hurt has enjoyed a successful career in film that has spanned six decades. He has also enjoyed roles in television and theatre. Currently, he is the voice of the Great Dragon Kilgharrah in the Bbc series Merlin. He has also had a number of voice roles, including Hazel in the 1978 animated film Watership Down. His career has not slowed down in recent years and he can currently be seen in Tinker Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Immortals. Currently, silent film The Artist leads the BAFTA nominations with twelve, with the aforementioned Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy receiving eleven. Biopic The Iron Lady is nominated for Original Screenplay, while Spanish film The Skin I Live In is in the running for Film Not In The English Language. The ceremony will be hosted by Stephen Fry on February 12th 2012.