Rutger Hauer, whose most famous role was as the villain Roy Batty in ‘Blade Runner’, died on July 19 at the age of 75, in his native The Netherlands, after an illness. His funeral was held Wednesday.
‘Blade Runner’ was a huge flop when it was released in 1982, but went on to become a sci-fi classic. Hauer famously wrote his own climactic speech at the end of ‘Blade Runner’ in which he says in part (via BBC):
“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.”
Regarding his replicant character whose life span was only four years, Hauer said he wanted to “make his mark on existence”.
“The replicant in the final scene, by dying, shows Deckard what a real man is made of.”
Hauer excelled at genre projects. Among his most notable early gigs was in the 1969 Dutch TV series ‘Floris’, set during the Crusades. The series was created by Paul Verhoeven, and the two would work together again in the future after both moved to Hollywood, including the medieval epic ‘Flesh + Blood’.
He starred as the killer in the classic horror movie ‘The Hitcher’, Navarre in Richard Donner’s ‘Ladyhawke’, vampire lord Lothos in the original ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’, Cardinal Roark in ‘Sin City’, villain Earle in ‘Batman Begins’, Dracula III in ‘Dracula: Legacy’, Van Heling in ‘Dracula 3D’, and President of the World State Federation in ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’.
He went on to make TV appearances on ‘Merlin’, ‘The 10th Kingdom’, ‘Alias’, ‘Smallville’, ‘Salem’s Lot’, and ‘Galavant’. He had the recurring role of Niall Brigant, Sookie’s faerie grandfather on ‘True Blood’, and as Joseph Peach in the horror anthology ‘Channel Zero’. His most recent role was as Tillman on the British comedy series ‘Porters’.
In 2013, he was awarded the Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion in recognition of his contribution to the Dutch culture. In 1987, he won a Golden Globe for his TV miniseries ‘Escape from Sobibor’.
Hauer has four projects in the can, and his most recent job was in a remake of ‘A Christmas Carol’, although it’s unclear if he had completed filming of his role as the Ghost of Christmas Future.
He had been cast in the thriller ‘Perfidious’ and the family movie ‘Lyra’s Wish: Saving Santa’.
Guillermo del Toro was among the first to post a remembrance of the great actor:
RIP the great Rutger Hauer: an intense, deep, genuine and magnetic actor that brought truth, power and beauty to his films. My personal favorites: Flesh + Blood, Eureka, The Hitcher, Blade Runner, Ladyhawke and Blind Fury. pic.twitter.com/1F2Via3mLY
— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) July 24, 2019
The staff of ScienceFiction.com would like to extend our deepest condolences to Hauer’s friends, family, and fans.