Hurt announced he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2015, the same year he was awarded a knighthood for his services to drama.
Hurt, whose career spanned six decades, worked extensively in both his native UK and in Hollywood.
His credits included The Elephant Man, the sci-fi classic Alien, Australian film The Proposition, recent Jackie Kennedy biopic Jackie, and a host of television and stage roles.
He also played Mr Ollivander in the film adaptations of the Harry Potter novels.
Hurt’s portrayal of John Merrick, a disfigured but sensitive man in 19th century London, in 1980’s The Elephant Man earned him an Academy Award nomination for best actor.
He was also nominated in the best supporting actor category in 1978 for Midnight Express, in which he played a heroin addict in a Turkish prison.
One of his most famous scenes was in Ridley Scott’s Alien, in which a creature bursts from his character’s chest.
He is survived by his wife of 12 years, Anwen Rees-Myers, and his two adults sons from a previous marriage.
As news of Hurt’s passing broke, fellow actors took to Twitter to pay tribute. (Courtesy Nine News)