Q I recently saw the great William Hurt in an episode of Nightmares and Dreamscapes in which he battled toy soldiers. He didn't have a word of dialogue, but he still was riveting. Can you tell me how he got his start?
—Craig Prewitt, Valencia, Calif.
Hurt, 56, studied acting in college and did a lot of theater work before getting in front of the cameras. His first TV role was a small part in an episode of Kojak, but the movies Body Heat and Altered States made him a star. He took the role in the "Battleground" episode of Nightmares and Dreamscapes, available on DVD, because he liked the idea of the mortal combat between his character, a strictly business hit man, and the tiny plastic soldiers. "Violence amongst humans is absurd and ridiculous," he says. "So when it takes place between humans and toys, it serves as a parody of human violence."