Sir John Hurt diagnosed with early stages of cancer

Sir John Hurt has revealed that he is fighting a battle with pancreatic cancer, but remains "more than optimistic" that he will come out on top. The 75-year-old actor released a statement on Tuesday, while also insisting that he has no plans to stop working.

"I have always been open about the way in which I conduct my life and in that spirit I would like to make a statement," he told Press Association.



Sir John Hurt said he will still continue working and will "shortly be recording Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell (one of life's small ironies!)"

The veteran star added: "I have recently been diagnosed with early stage pancreatic cancer. I am undergoing treatment and am more than optimistic about a satisfactory outcome, as indeed is the medical team.

"I am continuing to focus on my professional commitments and will shortly be recording Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell (one of life's small ironies!) for BBC Radio 4."

Sir John, who was last year awarded a knighthood for his services to drama, will next appear on-screen in November, in new drama The Last Panthers.

He also has five other projects to complete this year and in 2016 is set to star in Tarzan, alongside Margot Robbie and Samuel L. Jackson, and The History of Love, opposite Gemma Arterton.

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The 75-year-old actor pictured with his fourth wife Anwen Rees-Myers

The Derbyshire-born star most recently appeared as Lord Cotys in Hercules as well as The War Doctor in Doctor Who for the show's 50th anniversary special in 2013.

With a career spanning six decades, Sir John, who was awarded a CBE in 2004, first rose to fame in A Man For All Seasons.

The actor is perhaps best known for his leading roles in the 1980 production of The Elephant Man, for which he won a BAFTA, and Midnight Express, for which he scooped another BAFTA and a Golden Globe.