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NI actor Ian Beattie pays tribute to Sir John Hurt

John Hurt, pictured in 2012 with his British Academy Film Award for Oustanding Contribution to Cinema Photo: PA

Belfast actor Ian Beattie has paid tribute to Sir John Hurt after starring alongside the screen legend in The Journey – writer Colin Bateman’s film about Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness.

Sir John’s death at the age of 77 comes after an impressive career spanning six decades.

John was the most sublime of actors and the most gentlemanly of gentlemen with the greatest of hearts and the most generosity of spirit.

He touched all our lives with joy and magic and it will be a strange world without him.

– Anwen Hurt, Sir John’s widow

His big screen credits range from the likes of The Elephant Man and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, to Alien, Harry Potter, Hellboy and many more.

Notable television roles include that of Quentin Crisp in The Naked Civil Servant and the War Doctor in Doctor Who.

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The Journey sees Timothy Spall and Colm Meaney star as Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness, telling the story of the unlikely friendship between political enemies that changed history.

Sir John featured as a political fixer while Beattie took on the role of Gerry Adams.

Beattie, who is also known for his roles in hit dramas like Game of Thrones and Vikings, told UTV he was desperately sad to have heard of the death of such an acting great.

“He was the most wonderful, wonderful man – a remarkable actor,” he said.

“His performance seemed so effortless and he was so incredibly generous too … He brought a joy to the set.”

  • WATCH: Ian Beattie pays tribute to screen legend Sir John Hurt