A legend in both the Netherlands and Hollywood has passed away.
It was announced today that Rutger Hauer, an iconic Dutch actor in many films and series, passed away on July 19th in his home in the Netherlands after a brief illness. He was 75 years old.
Hauer is perhaps best known in his homeland for his collaborations with Paul Verhoeven while in Hollywood, he will be best remembered for his roles in films such as Blade Runner, The Hitcher, and many others.
Rutger Oelsen Hauer was born on January 23, 1944 in the small town of Breukelen inthe province of Utrecht to actors Teunke and Arend Hauer. Colorblind, Hauer had attempted to work as both a sailor and construction before his parents enrolled him in drama classes. He was never one to really enjoy school, but in 1969, Hauer made his debut after being discovered by Paul Verhoeven on TV as the titular Floris, an exiled knight who attempted to get his birth right papers back from an evil warlord with the help of an Indian friend. The series lasted 13 episodes.
However, it was 1973’s Turkish Delight that would be Hauer’s breakthrough role and the second of many collaborations with fellow Dutchman Paul Verhoeven. In the film, he played Eric, a wandering playboy type who takes “trophies” from his conquests and puts them in a book. However, he soon finds himself in love with Olga, played by Monique van de Ven. The film broke box-office records in the Netherlands and still remains a fan favorite to this day.
Hauer would make his Hollywood debut in 1975 with The Wilby Conspiracy opposite Sidney Poitier and Michael Caine. In the film, which revolves around apartheid in South Africa, featured Hauer as the estranged husband of an Afrikaner defense attorney who helps Poitier’s character go free.
Hauer would continue making films primarily in Germany and the Netherlands throughout the 70s and worked with Verhoeven on both Katie Tippel in 1975, Soldier of Orange in 1977, and Spetters in 1980. In 1982, Hauer gained major rave for his iconic role of villain Roy Batty in the science fiction epic Blade Runner opposite Harrison Ford. He would scare audiences when he played the mysterious hitchhiker John Ryder in The Hitcher in 1986 and gave action film fans a wild ride when he played blind ex-Vietnam vet turned swordsman Nick Parker in Blind Fury.
Hauer has continued major success throughout much of the 90’s and even 2000s. The list of his credits are endless.
Hauer is survived by his wife Ineke ten Kate and daughter Aysha Hauer, an actress. World Film Geek sends its condolences to the family of Rutger Hauer. As a final tribute, here is Hauer speaking with Bobbie Wygant in 1982 talking about his iconic role in Blade Runner.