Actor Rutger Hauer, of ‘Blade Runner’ fame, has died at 75

NEW YORK — Dutch film actor Rutger Hauer, who specialized in thoughtful, menacing roles, including a memorable turn as a murderous android in “Blade Runner” opposite Harrison Ford, has died. He was 75.

Hauer’s agent, Steve Kenis, said Wednesday the actor died July 19 at his home in the Netherlands.

Hauer’s roles included a terrorist in “Nighthawks” with Sylvester Stallone, Cardinal Roark in “Sin City” and playing an evil corporate executive in “Batman Begins.” He was in the big-budget 1985 fantasy “Ladyhawke,” portrayed a menacing hitchhiker who’s picked up by a murderer in the Mojave Desert in “The Hitcher” and won a supporting-actor Golden Globe award in 1988 for “Escape from Sobibor.”

Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro in a tweet called Hauer “an intense, deep, genuine and magnetic actor that brought truth, power and beauty to his films.” Gene Simmons, the KISS bassist who starred opposite Hauer in “Wanted: Dead or Alive,” described his former co-star as “always a gentleman, kind and compassionate.”

In “Blade Runner,” Hauer played the murderous replicant Roy Batty on a desperate quest to prolong his artificially shortened life in post-apocalyptic, 21st-century Los Angeles.

In his dying, rain-soaked soliloquy, he looked back at his extraordinary existence. “All those moments will be lost in time. Like tears in rain. Time to die,” he said.

“It’s so much fun to playfully roam into the dark side of the soul and tease people,” the actor told The Associated Press in 1987. “If you try to work on human beings’ light side, that’s harder. What is good is hard. Most people try to be good all their lives. So you have to work harder to make those characters interesting.”

Hauer’s ruggedly handsome face, blue eyes and strong physique drew the attention of American producers in such international successes as “Turkish Delight,” “Spetters” and “Soldier of Orange.” The offers from the United States came as a surprise to Hauer, who faced the same uncertain future experienced by other Dutch film actors.

“We make about 10 films a year, all in Dutch,” he recalled. “You act for your own community, basically, which is fine. But you can’t live on it. There is also the danger of overexposure you can’t be too greedy.” After the world recognition for “Soldier of Orange,” a friend suggested Hauer might be able to find work in American films.

Hauer was born in the Netherlands village of Breukelen. His parents were actors but he had little concentration for school and at 15 ran away as a seaman on a freighter. That didn’t take, nor did a stint in the army, and his parents decided he was destined to follow the family profession. Rutger enrolled in acting school.

Hauer spent five years with a small troupe bringing theatre to rural Holland. He made his film debut in the saucy “Turkish Delight,” nominated for an Oscar as best foreign language film of 1973.

Earlier in his career, a Hollywood agent suggested changing his name to something easier for the American public to learn. The actor declined. “If you’re good enough, people will remember your name,” he explained.

He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Ineke ten Cate, and a daughter, actress Aysha Hauer, from a previous marriage.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Black Press file photo.)
Red Deer city council holds closed-door discussion about proposed aquatics centre

Recommended design, cost and location won’t be made public until next spring

A community gathering space was created in front of the new Red Deer Culture Services Centre before the 2019 Canada Winter Games. (Advocate file photo).
Red Deer’s Culture Services Centre to get additional $4.6 M in renovations

It’s one of many capital projects approved by city council

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, reported an additional 1,307 COVID-19 cases Tuesday. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Central zone up to 1,249 active COVID-19 cases

Red Deer sits at 257 active COVID-19 cases

Mayor
Mayor Veer appointed as Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer has been appointed an Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel by… Continue reading

Const. Jason Tress
Mountie testifies another RCMP officer sexually assaulted her at 2012 party

Former Mountie on trial for sexual assault in connection with incident in northwestern Alberta

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

Team Manitoba celebrate after defeating Team Ontario to win the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw, Sask., Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Curling Canada wants Calgary's Canada Olympic Park to be a curling hub for the season's top events. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
CP NewsAlert: Calgary facility set to become curling hub during pandemic

CP NewsAlert: Calgary facility set to become curling hub during pandemic

Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney watches late in the second half of the team's MLS Cup soccer match against the Seattle Sounders on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019, in Seattle. Vanney has stepped down as coach of Toronto FC. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP Photo-Elaine Thompson
Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney steps down, says it’s the right time to move on

Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney steps down, says it’s the right time to move on

Hamilton Forge FC's Giuliano Frano (8) heads the ball against CD Olimpia's Jorge Benguche (9) during Scotiabank CONCACAF League 2019 second half soccer action in Hamilton, Ontario on Thursday, August 22, 2019. Forge FC looks to win its way into the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League on Tuesday when it takes on Haiti's Arcahaie FC in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF League, a 22-team feeder competition that sends six clubs to CONCACAF's elite club tournament. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power
Forge FC loses penalty shootout to Haitian side in CONCACAF League quarterfinal

Forge FC loses penalty shootout to Haitian side in CONCACAF League quarterfinal

Public health must balance science and society: former top doctor

Public health must balance science and society: former top doctor

California boat captain indicted in fire that killed 34

California boat captain indicted in fire that killed 34

President Donald Trump participates in a video teleconference call with members of the military on Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020, at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Trump headed to Georgia as runoff boost, but also a threat

Trump headed to Georgia as runoff boost, but also a threat

Flames and exhaust trail behind a Long March-5 rocket carrying the Chang'e 5 lunar mission after it lifted off at the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Wenchang in southern China's Hainan Province, early Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. China launched an ambitious mission on Tuesday to bring back material from the moon's surface for the first time in more than 40 years — an undertaking that could boost human understanding of the moon and of the solar system more generally. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
China spacecraft lands on moon to bring rocks back to Earth

China spacecraft lands on moon to bring rocks back to Earth

FILE - In this March 16, 2020, file photo, vials used by pharmacists to prepare syringes used on the first day of a first-stage safety study clinical trial of the potential vaccine for COVID-19 rest on a lab table at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle. An influential scientific panel on Tuesday, Dec. 1, is set to tackle one of the most pressing questions in the U.S. coronavirus epidemic: When the first doses of COVID-19 vaccine become available, who should be at the front of the line for shots? (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
US panel: 1st vaccines to health care workers, nursing homes

US panel: 1st vaccines to health care workers, nursing homes

Most Read