Natalie Portman has paid tribute to the late actor Sir John Hurt, her co-star in the Oscar nominated film Jackie, about Jacqueline Kennedy.

The iconic British actor died at his home in Norfolk on Wednesday (25 January) aged 77, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

In a statement shared by Entertainment Weekly the actress, who also worked with Hurt on the 2005 film V for Vendetta said: "I'm so extremely sad to hear of John's passing. I was lucky enough to make two films with him — both of which were taken to the next level because of his performances.

"He was the most talented actor, and also a deeply good and funny and poetic and smart and warm human being. I send my love to his family at this terrible time, and join his fans in watching his films that we are lucky enough to have forever."

According to Mail Online, Jackie director Pablo Larrain also paid tribute describing Hurt as "invincible. Unflinching. Eternal."

The prolific performer appeared in 120 films over six decades, including turns in Watership Down (1978), Alien (1979) , and Lord of the Rings. Sir John won Oscar nominations for his heart-wrenching portrayal of the Elephant Man and was well known for roles including Quentin Crisp in The Naked Civil Servant, and as wand merchant Mr Ollivander in the Harry Potter films.

Sir John was recognised for his contribution to British cinema in 2012 with a Bafta lifetime achievement award.

His death has prompted an outpouring of grief from the film industry, with director Mel Brooks, Sharon Stone and J K Rowling among those paying tribute.