Who Was John Hurt in Harry Potter?

John Hurt is an English actor known for his ability to portray strange and eccentric characters. He’s appeared in many films throughout his career, but his most iconic role was as the lead character in the 2003 biopic “Virtuoso”, which explored the life of cellist called Friedrich Cernd. This role propelled him into the consciousness of millions of viewers who were previously unaware of his acting talents.

Since then he has continued to appear on screen, playing roles that are just as eccentric. In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, John Hurt played Mr. Olivander, a wandmaker at Diagon Alley. With so many actors involved in making this film, you may be wondering who exactly was John Hurt in Harry Potter? Read on to find out more about this talented British actor and see if you can remember seeing him in any other films!

Who is John Hurt?

John Hurt is an English actor who was born in the coastal city of Chester on the 27 February 1940. He was the son of a civil engineer and a poet, and was sent to the Royal Grammar School in the city of Guildford. Here he met his future wife, Angela Morley, whom he married in 1966. He studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, but dropped out to pursue a career in acting.

This has proved to be a wise decision as he has gone on to make many films, including the Alien franchise, The Elephant Man and The Hitcher. This has given him a reputation as a “troublemaker”, as he is often cast in mysterious, eccentric or destructive roles.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

John Hurt played Mr. Olivander in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the first film in the Harry Potter franchise. His role was that of the wandmaker who is able to determine the perfect wood and core for each wand that is made. He is a mysterious character and remains very aloof from the main characters, refusing to divulge much about his history.

Despite this, he does accept a position as Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The first film sees Harry and his friends travelling to Diagon Alley to buy their wands, which allows them to practice magic. Harry meets Olivander during this part of the story and he is told that his wand is made of holly with a phoenix feather core. This is evidently a very powerful wand, as it is able to repel a curse cast by Voldemort.

John Hurt as Mr. Olivander

John Hurt played Mr. Olivander at a time when he was less well-known than he is now, so it is impressive to see that he was able to bring a sense of mystery and charisma to this role. He wears very dark clothing and has a very strange demeanor; the fact that he remains silent for a large part of the film (and the rest of the franchise) helped contribute to this.

It is implied that he is much older than he appears and that he has a very long and dark history. Mr. Olivander is involved in the story from the outset and he is able to identify many of the magical artefacts that Harry and his friends have. It is clear that he is knowledgeable about many different types of magic and he is even able to determine that Harry’s wand is one of a kind.

Other Harry Potter Roles

John Hurt has been in many Harry Potter films, but he has also played a role in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them franchise. He played Ollivander in both of these films, and he even reprised the same role in the video games based on the same stories.

He also played the mysterious character of Professor Broom in the final film in the Harry Potter franchise, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. In this film, he is the one who delivers Harry’s son, Albus, to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It is clear that he knows much about the magical world, and he has a very cryptic way of speaking.

Final Thoughts

John Hurt has appeared in many films and TV shows over the years, but he is best known for playing the enigmatic Mr. Olivander in the Harry Potter films. His intense and strange mannerisms made him a memorable and enigmatic character, and he is one that many fans of the franchise are still fond of today. Whether you want to re-watch the Harry Potter films or you’re looking for something new, you can find plenty of great content starring John Hurt on streaming services like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video!


Arthur Wick

I am a writer and hobby magician who loves nature. In my free time, I enjoy performing magic tricks, such as pulling rabbits out of a top hat, and spending time in nature. I also enjoy riding my electric unicycle, or EUC, when I have the chance.

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