RIP William Hurt: Remembering the MCU’s formidable General Ross

Marvel's Captain America: Civil War..General Thuderbolt Ross (William Hurt)..Photo Credit: Zade Rosenthal..© Marvel 2016
Marvel's Captain America: Civil War..General Thuderbolt Ross (William Hurt)..Photo Credit: Zade Rosenthal..© Marvel 2016 /

William Hurt has sadly passed away at the age of 71. We pay tribute to his legendary performance as General Thaddeus Ross in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The iconic William Hurt has sadly died. The Academy-Award winning actor was 71 years old.

William’s son Will confirmed it in a post that revealed his father passed away “peacefully, among family, of natural causes” just a week before his 72nd birthday.

Hurt was a titan of cinema, receiving three consecutive Oscar nominations for Best Actor for his performances in Kiss of the Spider WomanChildren of a Lesser God and Broadcast News. He won for the former.

He was also well-known to younger audiences for his performance as General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross in the expansive Marvel Cinematic Universe – one of the many roles that highlighted his larger-than-life screen presence as an actor, and one that many fans felt the MCU could have capitalized on a lot more than they did.

William Hurt was one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s most formidable performers

Hurt made his MCU debut in The Incredible Hulk back in its own debut year 2008. The second movie in the MCU after Iron Man, that actually made him one of the longest-serving actors in the shared universe of superheroes given that his most recent appearance was in 2021’s Black Widow.

He would appear in three movies between those two, reprising his role as Ross after he retired rom the army and transitioned into a new role as Secretary of State in Captain America: Civil War (2016), Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019). While his role in those movies was never quite as large as it was in The Incredible Hulk there is no denying Hurt’s formidable performance as Ross not only did justice to the comic book character, but it made you sit up and pay attention every time that he was on-screen.

You don’t need to be a Marvel fan to know that William Hurt is one of the greatest actors of his generation. Truthfully, there are plenty of roles in his impressive repertoire that highlight that a great deal more than the MCU movies do, but that doesn’t take away from what he did with the character. He imbued General Ross with a must-see quality that exceeded his limited screen-time in recent years.

When Ross was on-screen you paid attention because of Hurt’s commanding presence in the role, and it was always exciting when he turned up to turn the Avengers’ lives upside down.

Thank you William Hurt for entertaining and inspiring a generation with your titanic career. You will be remembered for so many of your legendary performances that will live on in history. And this Marvel fan would just like to thank you for bringing General Ross to life in a way that only you could. May you Rest in Peace.

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