Sir John Hurt pulls out of Sir Kenneth Branagh Entertainer play
Sir John Hurt has pulled out of Sir Kenneth Branagh's production of The Entertainer, on advice of his doctors.
The 76-year-old had been due to play Billy Rice, the father of Sir Kenneth's character Archie, in John Osborne's play about a music hall performer.
Sir John said he had been hospitalised recently with an intestinal complaint and had been told it was "too soon... to undertake [an] arduous stage role".
"It is therefore with great sadness and disappointment that I must withdraw."
The actor went on to wish director Rob Ashford "and the entire company [his] very best wishes for a happy and successful production."
The Entertainer is the last play in Sir Kenneth's year-long residency at London's Garrick Theatre, on 20 August.
A spokesperson for the company said Sir John's replacement " would be "announced in due course".
In a statement, the actor said he was following doctors' advice despite being "much improved and on the road to a full recovery" following his recent hospitalisation.
The Bafta-winning star, known for his roles in Alien, The Elephant Man and The Naked Civil Servant, was diagnosed last year with pancreatic cancer.
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