‘Surly and self-involved’ William Hurt slammed by Miriam Margolyes after awkward snub

This Morning – Miriam Margoyles shows off her knee scar

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William Hurt, 71, starred alongside Miriam Margoyles, 81, in the 1990 movie I Love You To Death and did not leave a great impression on the actress after he snubbed her handshake. The Harry Potter star felt like she was “not worth” shaking hands with, following the incident, and labelled the US actor “surly and self-involved”.

In 1988, Margoyles moved to Los Angeles to work in Hollywood films and said she was the “fattest person” in her agent’s book at the time.

However, despite her self-deprecation, the actress quickly found work, and was cast in the black and white movie I Love You To Death.

It was on the set of the film that she met the later River Phoenix, then 20, who sadly went on to die from a drug overdose outside a nightclub in 1993.

Recalling their meeting, Margoyles said: “River Phoenix, a lovely young man, very polite and gentle. 

“He showed no signs of a drug habit and I was terribly sad when I heard he’d died taking an overdose. “

However her other co-star, Hurt, she was not so much a fan of.

She continued in extracts of her book This Much Is True, obtained by the Daily Mail: “William Hurt was quite the opposite; surly and self-involved. 

“When I was introduced, I put out my hand to shake his. He simply turned away. I wasn’t worth shaking hands with.”

The other two English actresses in the film were Tracey Ullman and Joan Plowright. 

The movie about Kevin Kline’s character Joey Boca, a serial womaniser who owns a pizza parlour and is married to Rosalie (Tracey Ullman), is highly rated by viewers, with a 4.6-star rating on Amazon.

Since then, Hurt has gone on to star in many movies, including portraying General Thaddeus Ross in the 2008 film The Incredible Hulk alongside Edward Norton, Liv Tyler and Tim Roth.

Hurt also reprised this role in Captain America: Civil War (2016), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019), and Black Widow (2021).

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Meanwhile, Margoyles appeared in an online play last year that focused on living with dementia during the lockdown.

She told The Loose Women panel while discussing the project: ”I wanted to talk about theatre because I know you have been doing this little online play and it’s about someone living with dementia.”

Jane Moore responded: “You looked after your father who had dementia, didn’t you?” So you have got quite an inside track on that, is that something you worry about for yourself personally?”

Margoyles responded earnestly: “Oh yes I do, I think I’m on the way to losing my marbles and it is worrying.

“It’s worrying for all of us,” she added.

Margoyles explained that for anyone with experience looking after someone with Alzheimer’s, it could have a profound effect upon them.

Especially recently, when people couldn’t visit their relatives who were living in care homes.

This Much is True by Miriam Margoyles is available to buy on Amazon from September 16 for £16.15.


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