Wednesday, July 24, 2019

The Late, Great Rutger Hauer

Rutger Haeur, the Dutch actor known for playing the replicant Roy Batty in Blade Runner (1982) and Navarre in Ladyhawke (1985) among many other film roles, died on July 19 2019 at the age of 75 following a short illness.

Rutger Hauer was born on January 23 1944 in Breukelen, Netherlands. His parents were both drama teachers. At 15 he ran away from home to join the Dutch merchant navy. He returned to Amsterdam in 1962 and attended the Academy for Theatre and Dance there. His acting training was interrupted when he served as a combat medic in the Royal Netherlands Army. Afterwards he joined the experimental acting troupe Noorder Compagnie. He remained with them for several years.

His television debut came when he was cast as the lead in the medieval drama Floris in 1969. In the Seventies he reprised the role of Floris in a German remake of the series, Floris von Rosemund. He also had a recurring role in the TV series Duel in de diepte and the mini-series Voor koningin en vaderland. In the Seventies he appeared in the TV shows The Pathfinders, and  Waaldrecht. He made his film debut in 1973 in the movie Turks fruit. In the Seventies he appeared in the movies Repelsteeltje (1973) and Pusteblume (1975) before making his first English language film, The Wilby Conspiracy in 1975. For the remainder of the decade he appeared in the films Keetje Tippel (1975), Das Amulett des Todes (1975), Het jaar van de kreeft (1975), Max Havelaar of de koffieveilingen der Nederlandsche handelsmaatschappij (1976), La donneuse (1976), Soldaat van Oranje (1977), Pastorale 1943 (1978), Mysteries (1978), Een vrouw tussen hond en wolf (1979), Grijpstra & De Gier (1979), and Spetters (1980).

In 1981 Mr. Hauer made his first appearance in an American film, playing a psychopathic terrorist in Nighthawks. It was in 1982 that he played what might be his most famous role, Roy Batty, in Blade Runner. In the Eighties he appeared in such films as Chanel Solitaire (1981), Eureka (1983), The Osterman Weekend (1983), A Breed Apart (1984), Flesh+Blood (1985), The Hitcher (1986), Wanted: Dead or Alive (1986), La leggenda del santo bevitore (1988), Bloodhounds of Broadway (1989), Blind Fury (1989), In una notte di chiaro di luna (1989), and The Blood of Heroes (1989).

In the Nineties Rutger Hauer appeared as the villain in the movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992). In the Nineties he appeared in such films as Past Midnight (1991), Split Second (1992), Beyond Justice (1992), Nostradamus (1994), The Beans of Egypt, Maine (1994), Surviving the Game (1994), Omega Doom (1996), Knockin' on Heaven's Door (1997), Simon Magus (1999), Partners in Crime (2000), and Wilder (2000). On television he appeared in several TV movies as well as the  mini-series Il principe del deserto, Lexx, Merlin, and The Tenth Kingdom. He also appeared on the TV show Screen One and several TV movies, including Fatherland.

In the Naughts Mr. Hauer appeared in the TV series Alias, Smallville, and Salem's Lot. He appeared in the TV movie The Poseidon Adventure, Starting Over, and The Prince of Motor City.  He played Earle, the crooked businessman who had taken over Wayne Enterprises, in the movie Batman Begins (2005). In Sin City (2005) he played the corrupt Cardinal Roark. He also appeared in such films as Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002), In the Shadow of the Cobra (2004), Minotaur (2006), Moving McAllister (2007), Barbarossa (2009), and Happiness Runs (2010).

In the Teens Rutger Hauer had recurring roles on the TV shows True Blood, Galavant, Channel Zero, and Porters. He guest starred on the shows Wilfred, The Last Kingdom, and Mata Hari. He appeared in such films as Spoon (2011), Dracula 3D (2012), Life's a Beach (2012), The Letters (2014), Drawing Home  (2016), The Broken Key (2017), Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017), Samson (2018), and The Sonata (2018).

Rutger Hauer was an incredibly talented actor. While it seems certain he will always be best remembered as Roy from Blade Runner, he played his share of heroes as well. He was Navarre in the medieval fantasy Ladyhawke. He played a blinded swordsman in Blind Fury. In Split Second he played a police detective tracking down a serial killer. Of course, he was well known for his villainous roles, and he played several throughout his career, from the title psychopath in The Hitcher to Lothos in Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Cardinal Roark in Sin City. Rutger Hauer was well known for the many action movies in which he appeared, but he also played many non-action roles as well. He was a television journalist in The Osterman Weekend, a philandering status seeker in Eureka, and a member of a poor family who was convicted of hunting deer out of season in The Beans of Egypt, Maine. He played everything from priests to spies to police officers. He played both Dracula and Van Helsing at various points in this career. Rutger Hauer certainly had incredible range as an actor.

1 comment:

The Metzinger Sisters said...

Holy smokes! Rutger and David Hedison on the same day passing away! I miss them both already.