Rutger Oelsen Hauer (Dutch: [ˈrʏtxər ˈulsə(n) ˈɦʌuər]; 23 January 1944 – 19 July 2019) was a Dutch actor. In 1999, he was named by the Dutch public as the Best Dutch Actor of the Century.
Rutger Oelsen Hauer
23 January 1944
|Died||19 July 2019 75) (aged|
Hauer's career began in 1969 with the title role in the Dutch television series Floris and surged with his leading role in Turkish Delight (1973), which in 1999 was named the Best Dutch Film of the Century. After gaining international recognition with Soldier of Orange (1977) and Spetters (1980), he moved into American films such as Nighthawks (1981) and Blade Runner (1982), starring in the latter as self-aware replicant Roy Batty. His performance in Blade Runner led to roles in The Osterman Weekend (1983), Ladyhawke (1985), The Hitcher (1986), The Legend of the Holy Drinker (1988), and Blind Fury (1989), among other films.
From the 1990s on, Hauer moved into low-budget films, and supporting roles in major films such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992), Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002), Batman Begins (2005), Sin City (2005) and The Rite (2011). Hauer also became well known for his work in commercials. Towards the end of his career, he made a return to Dutch cinema, and won the 2012 Rembrandt Award for Best Actor in recognition of his lead role in The Heineken Kidnapping (2011).
Hauer supported environmentalist causes and was a member of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. He also founded the Rutger Hauer Starfish Association, an AIDS awareness organization. He was made a knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion in 2013.
Hauer was born in Breukelen, in the Province of Utrecht, on 23 January 1944, while the Netherlands was under German occupation during World War II. He stated in a 1981 interview, "I was born in the middle of the war, and I think for that reason I have deep roots in pacifism. Violence frightens me." His parents were Teunke (née Mellema) and Arend Hauer, both actors who operated an acting school in nearby Amsterdam. He had three sisters. According to Hauer, his parents were more interested in their art than their children. He did not have a close relationship with his father, and writer Erik Hazelhoff Roelfzema later became a father figure to Hauer after they met during the filming of Soldier of Orange.
Hauer attended a Rudolf Steiner school, as his parents wanted him to develop his creativity. At the age of 15, he left school to join the Dutch merchant navy. He spent a year travelling the world aboard a freighter, but was unable to become a captain due to his colourblindness. Returning home, he worked odd jobs while finishing his high school diploma at night. He then entered the Academy for Theater and Dance in Amsterdam for acting classes, but soon dropped out to join the Royal Netherlands Army. He received training as a combat medic, but left the service after a few months as he opposed the use of deadly weapons. He subsequently returned to acting school and graduated in 1967.
Hauer had his first acting role at the age of 11, as Eurysakes in the play Ajax. After graduating from the Academy for Theater and Dance, he became a stage actor with the Toneelgroep Noorder Compagnie. Hauer made his screen debut in 1969 when Paul Verhoeven cast him in the lead role of the television series Floris, a Dutch medieval action drama. The role made him famous in his native country, and Hauer reprised his role for the 1975 German remake Floris von Rosemund.
Hauer's career changed course when Verhoeven cast him in Turkish Delight (1973), which received an Oscar nomination for best foreign language film. The film found box office favour abroad and at home, and Hauer looked to appear in more international films. Within two years, Hauer made his English-language debut in the British film The Wilby Conspiracy (1975). Set in South Africa, the film was an action-drama with a focus on apartheid. Hauer's supporting role, however, was barely noticed in Hollywood, and he returned to Dutch films for several years. During this period, he made Katie Tippel (1975) and worked again with Verhoeven on Soldier of Orange (1977), and Spetters (1980). These two films paired Hauer with fellow Dutch actor Jeroen Krabbé. At the 1981 Netherlands Film Festival, Hauer received the Golden Calf for Best Actor for his overall body of work.
Hauer made his American debut in the Sylvester Stallone film Nighthawks (1981) as a psychopathic and cold-blooded terrorist named Wulfgar. Unafraid of controversial roles, he portrayed Albert Speer in the 1982 American Broadcasting Company production Inside the Third Reich. The same year, Hauer appeared in arguably his most famous and acclaimed role as the eccentric and violent but sympathetic antihero Roy Batty in Ridley Scott's 1982 science fiction thriller Blade Runner, in which he delivered the famous tears in rain monologue. Hauer wrote some of the speech himself, the night before shooting, "cutting away swathes of the original script before adding the speech’s poignant final line". He went on to play the adventurer courting Theresa Russell in Eureka (1983), the investigative reporter opposite John Hurt in The Osterman Weekend (1983), the hardened Landsknecht mercenary Martin in Flesh & Blood (1985), and the knight paired with Michelle Pfeiffer in Ladyhawke (1985).
He appeared in The Hitcher (1986), in which he played a mysterious hitchhiker tormenting a lone motorist and murdering anyone in his way. He received the 1987 Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the television film Escape from Sobibor. At the height of Hauer's fame, he was set to be cast as RoboCop (1987), but Verhoeven, the film's director, considered his frame as too large to move comfortably in the character's suit. Also in 1987, Hauer starred as Nick Randall in Wanted: Dead or Alive as the descendant of the character played by Steve McQueen in the television series of the same name.
In 1988, he played a homeless man in Ermanno Olmi's The Legend of the Holy Drinker. This performance won Hauer the Best Actor award at the 1989 Seattle International Film Festival. Hauer was chosen to portray a blind martial artist superhero in Phillip Noyce's action film Blind Fury (1989). He initially struggled with the implausibility of the character, but learned to "unfocus my eyes, to react to smells and sounds" after meeting with blind judo practitioner Lynn Manning during his research for the role. Hauer returned to science fiction in 1989 with The Blood of Heroes, in which he played a gladiator in a post-apocalyptic world.
Commercials and later roles
By the 1990s, Hauer was well known for his humorous Guinness commercials as well as his screen roles, which had increasingly involved low-budget films, such as Split Second (1992), The Beans of Egypt, Maine (1994), Omega Doom (1996) and New World Disorder (1999). In 1992, he appeared in the horror-comedy film Buffy the Vampire Slayer as the main antagonist vampire, Lothos. He also appeared in the Kylie Minogue music video "On a Night Like This" (2000). During this time, Hauer acted in several British, Canadian and American television productions, including Amelia Earhart: The Final Flight (1994) as Earhart's navigator Fred Noonan, Fatherland (1994), Hostile Waters (1997), The Call of the Wild: Dog of the Yukon (1997), Merlin (1998), The 10th Kingdom (2000), Smallville (2003), Alias (2003), and Salem's Lot (2004).
Hauer played an assassin in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2003), a villainous cardinal with influential power in Sin City (2005) and a devious corporate executive running Wayne Enterprises in Batman Begins (2005). Also in 2005, he played the title role in Patrick Lussier's film Dracula III: Legacy. Seven years later, he portrayed the vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing in Dario Argento's Dracula 3D. Hauer hosted the British reality television documentary Shock Treatment in 2005, and featured in Goal II: Living the Dream (2007) as Real Madrid coach Rudi Van der Merwe. He also recorded voice-overs for the British advertising campaign for the Danish butter brand Lurpak.
In 2008, Hauer received the Golden Calf Culture Prize for his contributions to Dutch cinema. The award recognised his work as an actor as well as his efforts to aid the development of young filmmakers and actors, through initiatives such as the Rutger Hauer Film Factory. In 2009, his role in avant-garde filmmaker Cyrus Frisch's Dazzle received positive reviews; it was described in Dutch press as "the most relevant Dutch film of the year". The same year, Hauer starred in the title role of Barbarossa, an Italian film directed by Renzo Martinelli. In April 2010, he was cast in the live action adaptation of the short and fictitious Grindhouse trailer Hobo with a Shotgun (2011). Hauer played Freddie Heineken in The Heineken Kidnapping (2011), for which he received the 2012 Rembrandt Award for Best Actor. Also in 2011, Hauer appeared in the supernatural horror film The Rite as an undertaker named Istvan, the protagonist's father.
From 2013 to 2014, Hauer featured as Niall Brigant in HBO's True Blood. In 2015, he starred as Ravn in The Last Kingdom and as Kingsley in Galavant. In 2016, he joined the film jury for ShortCutz Amsterdam, an annual film festival promoting short films in Amsterdam. Hauer voiced the role of Daniel Lazarski in the 2017 video game Observer, set in a post-apocalyptic Poland. Lazarski is a member of a special elite police unit that can hack into minds and interact with memories within. Hauer also provided the voice of Master Xehanort in the 2019 video game Kingdom Hearts III, replacing the late Leonard Nimoy, and was himself replaced by Christopher Lloyd following his death.
Personal life and death
Hauer was an environmentalist. He supported the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and was a member of its board of advisors. He also established an AIDS awareness organization called the Rutger Hauer Starfish Association. In April 2007, he published his autobiography, All Those Moments: Stories of Heroes, Villains, Replicants, and Blade Runners (co-written with Patrick Quinlan), in which he discussed many of his acting roles. Proceeds from the book go to the Rutger Hauer Starfish Association.
Hauer was twice married. From his marriage with his first wife, Heidi Merz, came his only child, Aysha Hauer (born 1966), an actress who gave birth to Hauer's grandson in 1987. He had been together with his second wife, Ineke ten Cate, since 1968, and they married in a private ceremony on 22 November 1985. Although born in Utrecht, Hauer had strong links to Friesland. His second wife was the daughter of Laurens ten Cate, the editor-in-chief of the Friesland-based newspaper Leeuwarder Courant, and Hauer once stated in an interview with the Algemeen Dagblad that he "needed to feel the Frisian clay under [his] feet".
Hauer died on 19 July 2019 at his home in Beetsterzwaag, following a short illness. He was 75. A private funeral service was held on 24 July. On 23 January 2020, which would have been Hauer's 76th birthday, a ceremony was held in Beetsterzwaag in his honour. Attendees included Sharon Stone, Miranda Richardson, Diederik van Rooijen, and Prince Pieter-Christiaan of Orange-Nassau, van Vollenhoven.
- Hahn, Bram (7 October 2015). "1973 – Monique van de Ven: Voor altijd Olga". Elsevier Weekblad (in Dutch).
- Steenhoff, Petra (24 July 2019). "Rutger Hauer wilde iedere dag acteren". Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (in Dutch).
- Ebiri, Bilge (25 July 2019). "Even Now, Rutger Hauer's Performance in 'Blade Runner' Is a Marvel - With his combination of menace and anguish, he created an unforgettable character that made the movie the classic it remains today". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
- "Rutger Hauer". British Film Institute. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
- "Acteur Rutger Hauer krijgt lintje". Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (in Dutch). 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
- Rutger Hauer: Bescheiden wereldster – Privé | Het laatste Privé nieuws leest u op Prive.nl van De Telegraaf [prive]. Telegraaf.nl (30 November 2009). Retrieved on 28 December 2012.
- De Boerderij van Rutger Hauer te Beetsterzwaag, 50plusser.nl; accessed 17 January 2018.(in Dutch)
- Staff (23 April 1981). "Rutger Hauer Out of Character". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Associated Press. p. 6E.
- Genzlinger, Neil (24 July 2019). "Rutger Hauer, a Memorable Villain in 'Blade Runner,' Dies at 75". The New York Times.
- Fox-Leonard, Boudicca (11 March 2019). "Rutger Hauer: I feel lucky I'm not that famous". The Telegraph.
- Meier, Simone (24 July 2019). ""Blade Runner"-Star Rutger Hauer ist tot – sein letztes grosses watson-Interview". Watson.
- Veenhof, Herman (22 January 2019). "Ook 75: Rutger Hauer werd een boegbeeld". Nederlands Dagblad (in Dutch).
- Pulver, Andrew (24 July 2019). "Rutger Hauer, star of Blade Runner, dies aged 75". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
- Colburn, Randall (24 July 2019). "R.I.P. Rutger Hauer". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
- Andreeva, Nellie (26 September 2014). "Rutger Hauer Joins ABC Fairytale Comedy 'Galavant'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
- Libbey, Dirk (24 July 2019). "Blade Runner's Rutger Hauer Is Dead At 75". Cinemablend. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
- Morris, Chris (24 July 2019). "Rutger Hauer, 'Blade Runner' Co-Star, Dies at 75". Variety. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
- "Turks Fruit 1973". Rutgerhauer.org. Retrieved 30 May 2008.
- Thomas, Bob (7 February 1987). "Hauer Works Hard to Play a Nice Guy". The Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. p. C2.
- "Rutger Hauer". Hollywood.com. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
- Newmark, Zack (24 July 2019). "Rutger Hauer dead at age 75 after short illness". NL Times. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
- "Hauer krijgt Gouden Kalf Cultuurprijs". NRC Handelsblad (in Dutch). 10 September 2008.
- Saad, Nardine (24 July 2019). "Dutch actor Rutger Hauer, 'Blade Runner' villain, dies at 75". Los Angeles Times.
- "BBC Two - Tomorrow's Worlds: The Unearthly History of Science Fiction - Rutger Hauer". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
- "Rutger Hauer dissects his iconic "tears in rain" Blade Runner monologue". Radio Times.
- Gaydos, Steven (24 July 2019). "Rutger Hauer: Five of the 'Blade Runner' Star's Essential Performances". Variety. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
- Barnes, Mike; Parker, Ryan (24 July 2019). "Rutger Hauer, 'Blade Runner' Actor, Dies at 75". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
- Napoli, Jessica; Savitsky, Sasha (24 July 2019). "'Blade Runner' star Rutger Hauer dead at 75". Fox News.
- Stevens, Dana (26 October 2012). "Robocop: More ahead of its time than ever". Slate.
- Rampton, James (12 July 1997). "Actor RUTGER HAUER talks with James Rampton". The Independent.
- Schindehette, Susan; Tomashoff, Craig (7 May 1990). "Rutger Hauer Owes His Nice Judo Moves in Blind Fury to Sightless Martial Arts Expert Lynn Manning". People.
- Howe, Desson (25 February 1990). "The Inescapable Eyes of Rutger Hauer". The Washington Post.
- "È morto Rutger Hauer. Addio al replicante di Blade Runner". Il Tempo (in Italian). 24 July 2019. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
- Everett, Todd (10 June 1994). "Amelia Earhart: The Final Flight". Variety.
- Wiseman, Andreas (7 March 2012). "UFA moves ahead with Fatherland adaptation". Screendaily.
- Ringle, Ken (26 July 1997). "'Hostile Waters': HBO's Depth-Defying Cold War Thriller". The Washington Post.
- "Rutger Hauer: from Blade Runner to Buffy the Vampire Slayer – in pictures". The Guardian. 24 July 2019.
- Rosenberg, Howard (26 February 2000). "'10th Kingdom' a Jumbled Fairy-Tale World". Los Angeles Times.
- Gawley, Paige (24 July 2019). "Rutger Hauer, 'Blade Runner' Star, Dead at 75". Entertainment Tonight.
- "Rutger Hauer: Blade Runner actor dies aged 75". BBC News. 24 July 2019.
- Collis, Clark. "Rutger Hauer confirms he will play Van Helsing in Dario Argento's 'Dracula 3D'". Entertainment Weekly.
- Naylor, Tony (24 April 2009). "AdWatch: Lurpak can't butter us up". The Guardian.
- Virtue, Graeme (9 May 2015). "Rutger Hauer's Lurpak Spreadable advert". The Guardian.
- Zagt, Ab (10 September 2008). "Dutch Film Festival to honor Rutger Hauer". Hollywood Reporter.
- "Rutger Hauer krijgt speciaal Gouden Kalf". Trouw (in Dutch). 10 September 2008. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
- Billington, Alex. "Rutger Hauer Starring in a Full 'Hobo With a Shotgun' Movie".
- Van den Bossche, Matthias (12 March 2012). "'Gooische Vrouwen' beste Nederlandse film". HLN (in Dutch).
- Buckwalter, Ian (27 January 2011). "An Exorcism Tale With Too Little Of The Rite Stuff". NPR.
- "Shortcutz Amsterdam Annual Awards". hollandsefilm.nl. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
- "Rutger Hauer en Jan Harlan treden toe tot Shortcutz Amsterdam juryteam". filmfestival.nl. 6 March 2016. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
- Chalk, Andy (20 July 2017). "A new Observer trailer reveals Rutger Hauer as a Blade Runner-like 'neural detective' - PC Gamer". PC Gamer. Future plc. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
- Axon, Samuel (24 July 2019). "Rutger Hauer, genre actor and Blade Runner icon, has died at 75". ArsTechnica.
- Howell, Peter (21 March 2011). "Rutger Hauer prefers to shoot quips, not guns". Toronto Star. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
- de Preter, Hans (25 July 2019). "Famed Dutch actor Rutger Hauer an honorary Frisian". The Northern Times.
- Rutger Hauer Starfish Association. Accessed 30 May 2008.
- Rutger Hauer and Patrick Quinlan. All those moments: stories of heroes, villains, replicants, and Blade Runners, New York, NY: HarperEntertainment, 2007. ISBN 0-06-113389-2.
- Todd Leopold. "'Blade Runner' actor on 'strange profession'". CNN.com. Retrieved 12 June 2007.
- "Acteur - Ayesha Hauer". Filmgek.nl. 14 December 1987. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
- "Akteur Rutger Hauer (75) ferstoarn". Omrop Fryslân (in Western Frisian). 24 July 2019.
- Zagt, Ab (24 July 2019). "Rutger Hauer was onze grootste internationale filmster". De Gelderlander (in Dutch).
- Acteur Rutger Hauer (75) vrijdag in Beetsterzwaag overleden na kort ziekbed Leeuwarder Courant
- Morris, Chris (24 July 2019). "Rutger Hauer, 'Blade Runner' Co-Star, Dies at 75". Variety. Archived from the original on 24 July 2019. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
- Vrienden herdenken Rutger Hauer in Beetsterzwaag Leeuwarder Courant
- "New project – Arjen Lucassen solo album – Arjen Lucassen". www.arjenlucassen.com.