Very sad to hear this. One of my favorite actors to watch. Just saw him in "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy", and in" Dead Man". He projected soul in his work. What a face, like W. H. Auden but with a good sense of humor and a bit of bravado.
There's a great movie called "The Shout" with Hurt and Alan Bates that is worth watching if you can find it.
"Elephant Man" was a tour de force. To work under all that make-up and body suit to make an extensively deformed character truly sympathetic was a master class in acting and theater art in general. The fact that he had the vision to take on such a role at all is a lasting tribute to his talent and depth. He made the role about this singular difficult situation also about human kindness at large.