Rutger Hauer, who starred as Roy Batty in Ridley Scott‘s 1982 sci-fi classic Blade Runner, has died.
Hauer died last Friday at his home in the Netherlands after a short illness, his agent, Steve Kenis, told The Hollywood Reporter. His family did not want the news revealed until his funeral, which was held Wednesday. Kenis said,
“He was a wonderful man and terrific actor.”
According to THR,
Hauer made his Hollywood debut opposite Sylvester Stallone in Nighthawks (1981) and went on to appear on the big screen in such films as The Osterman Weekend (1983), Ladyhawke (1985),The Hitcher (1986), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992), Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002), Batman Begins (2005), Sin City (2005), Hobo With a Shotgun (2011), Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017) and The Sisters Brothers (2018).
Born on Jan. 23, 1944, the blue-eyed Hauer began his career in 1969 in the German TV series Floris. He came to the attention of director by Paul Verhoeven, who cast him in Turkish Delight (1973) and Soldier of Orange (1977).
“In Germany, [Turkish Delight] played next to Cabaret and Last Tango in Paris, and it outplayed them!” Hauer told THR‘s Scott Roxborough in February 2018.
“At first, I couldn’t understand it. Looking back, it was the start of the sexual revolution, and I was on the cusp of that. I’m naked for three quarters of the film. In Hollywood, they called it pornography. I saw it 25 years later, in the Directors Guild [theater]. And the audience was still shocked. I come from Holland. We’re not shocked.”
Hauer said he turned down a role in Wolfgang Petersen‘s Das Boot (1981) to work on Blade Runner, which he noted
“wasn’t about the replicants, it was about what does it mean to be human?”
Hauer improvised his now iconic “Tears in the Rain” speech. Co-screenwriter David Webb Peoples told THR in 2017,
“Rutger read that speech and then went on with a couple of lines about memories in the rain. And the he looked at me like a naughty little boy, like he was checking to see if the writer was going to be upset. I didn’t let on that I was upset, but at the time, I was a little upset and threatened by it.
Later, seeing the movie, that was a brilliant contribution of Rutger’s, that line about tears in the rain. It is absolutely beautiful.”
He was known as an environmentalist and AIDS awareness activist.
Rutger Hauer was 75.
(Photo, screen grab; via THR)