Harry Potter actor John Hurt has been diagnosed with cancer

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Veteran actor John Hurt has been diagnosed with cancer but will keep working and says he is “more than optimistic” about his future.

The star, 75, has enjoyed a successful career with notable roles including Quentin Crisp in The Naked Civil Servant, the title role in The Elephant Man and a recurring role as Mr Ollivander in the Harry Potter films.

He would probably be best known to Irish audiences for his role as ‘The Bird’ O’Donnell in 1990 film The Field.

In a statement, he said: ”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.

“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.”

The actor has been nominated for two Oscars, for The Elephant Man and Midnight Express.