It was a great shock to movie lovers everywhere that Sir John Hurt had passed away at the age of 77. He was a unique star in that he never became outdated, and his versatility as an actor was what kept him in major movies for well over 50 years.

John HurtJohn Hurt will forever be remembered

One of his last movies was the Academy Award nominated 'Jackie' starring Natalie Portman, and he had finished filming three other projects before he died: them being 'That Good Night', 'Damascus Cover' and 'My Name Is Lenny'. He was also in the process of filming Joe Wright's Winston Churchill movie 'Darkest Hour'.

Here are some of his most memorable movie and television roles:

The Elephant ManJohn Hurt in David Lynch's 1980 film 'The Elephant Man'

1. The Elephant Man - John Hurt's turn in this 1980 David Lynch classic is legendary indeed, with the actor bringing a matchless elegance and integrity to the deformed John Merrick; a character based on a real person who was rescued from a freak show by a curious but sympathetic doctor in the 1800s. The role earned him his second Oscar nomination.

1984John Hurt played Winston Smith in the adaptation of George Orwell's '1984'

2. 1984 - Arguably George Orwell's most famous story, John played Winston Smith in this dystopian work. It was one of the first books to explore a future totalitarian society based on propaganda and constant surveillance of the people, and John brought to life that iconic 'hero' in truly one of his most intense roles.

V For VendettaAdam Sutler in 'V For Vendetta' was a stark contrast to John Hurt's 1984 character 

3. V for Vendetta - An interesting choice for John Hurt because he turns the tables on his previous Orwellian character. This time he is, in effect, Big Brother in the very 1984-esque adaptation of the best-selling graphic novel of the same name. His new role here is High Chancellor Adam Sutler, the British Dictator, and he's as terrifying as he could possibly be.

HellboyJohn Hurt was Hellboy's guardian in the 2004 film

4. Hellboy - In this first adaptation of the Dark Horse Comics creation directed by Guillermo del Toro, John played Professor Trevor Bruttenholm. He's an occult expert and original director of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense who adopts Hellboy as a baby. John reprised his role in 'Hellboy II: The Golden Army' and in the animated film 'Blood and Iron'.

AlienJohn Hurt's character met a grisly end in 'Alien'

5. Alien - John Hurt plays executive officer Kane in the first installment of Ridley Scott's sci-fi franchise. He's a character that is probably exclusively remembered for his dramatic end, as the host of the Chestburster. It's one of the most famous scenes in the entire series and few could have performed it better. He even re-enacted the scene in the 1987 comedy 'Spaceballs'.

Doctor WhoJohn Hurt played the War Doctor in 'The Day of the Doctor'

6. Doctor Who - Whovians were happy to accept John Hurt as a new Doctor in 2013, even if his appearance was only brief. He is credited as the War Doctor; an extra regeneration of the Doctor who manages to help save Gallifrey from total destruction. Entertaining as he was, it now seems a shame that he'll never be a permanent incarnation of the TV hero.

Midnight ExpressJohn Hurt was nominated for an Oscar for his role in 'Midnight Express'

7. Midnight Express - The film that earned him his first Academy Award nomination was this 1978 Billy Hayes biopic directed by Alan Parker and written by Oliver Stone. It's about an American student's experience in an Istanbul prison. John played Max; a fellow inmate addicted to heroin who attempts to escape with Billy but ultimately fails.

MerlinJohn Hurt voiced the dragon in BBC's 'Merlin'

8. Merlin - This one's easy to miss, but he actually voiced the formidable Great Dragon in this BBC fantasy drama. He's one of the more layered characters of the series; kind enough to help Merlin when he is in dire need, though often begrudgingly and only on the promise of repayment, and always with a sense of humour.

Even Cowgirls Get The BluesJohn Hurt donned ladies' clothes in 'Even Cowgirls Get The Blues'

9. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues - As cross-dressing, homosexual feminine hygiene company magnate The Countess, John Hurt made quite the star turn. Elegant, crass and gloriously effeminate, you'd be forgiven for not realising this as the lined but ruggedly handsome actor right away. He starred alongside the likes of Uma Thurman, Keanu Reeves and 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest' writer Ken Kesey.

More: John Hurt dies aged 77

10. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - Possibly one of his most popular roles was as the master wandmaker Mr. Ollivander in this JK Rowling adaptation. His appearance may have been brief, but his role would become more important as the story progressed and he would, of course, return in 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' though looking slightly more dishevelled.