In Memoriam: Rutger Hauer (1944-2019)

Well friends and neighbors I’m not gonna lie this one stings. In fact it hurts worse than a replicant breaking my fingers.

It is my very sad duty to report that Dutch actor Rutger Hauer has died at the age of seventy-five after a brief illness. The actor, credited with an amazing 174 acting credits to his name passed away on July 19 at his home in Beetsterzwaag, Netherlands. According to his agent Steve Kenis, a memorial service was held in his honor on Wednesday.

Born Rutger Oelsen Hauer on January 23, 1944 during the German occupation of the Netherlands, he was the son of drama teachers, Teunke and Arend. With acting clearly in his blood, Hauer attended the Academy for Theater and Dance in Amsterdam. Hauer’s breakthrough performance came in 1969 when he was cast by director Paul Verhoeven (RobocopTotal Recall) in the television series Floris, a Dutch medieval action drama which made him famous in his home country. The actor made his English language debut with the 1975 film The Wilby Conspiracy and his first American film came alongside Sly Stallone in the 1981 film Nighthawks.

Over the next four decades, Hauer would go on to star in dozens of films, everything from the acclaimed horror movie The Hitcher to Batman Begins. Personally, the role I will remember Hauer for the most was the one I first saw him in, as the cursed Captain Etienne of Navarre in the underrated 1985 Richard Donner film, Ladyhawke where he co-starred alongside Michelle Pfeiffer and Matthew Broderick. Even at eight I could see how Hauer commanded the screen with his intensity, presence, and vulnerability.

Rutger Hauer was also a devoted environmentalist and created the AIDS awareness organization the Rutger Hauer Starfish Association.

Hauer leaves behind his wife of thirty-four years Ineke ten Cate and one daughter Aysha Hauer, also an actress.

However, Rutger Hauer’s most noted role and the one he will eternally be remembered for is playing the complex villain and replicant Roy Batty in Ridley Scott’s science fiction masterpiece Blade Runner. His final rain drenched scene in the film stands out as one of the most memorable in the history of cinema.

Rest in peace Mr. Hauer. Thank you for letting us people see things we wouldn’t believe with your performances on screen. Your moments on screen will never be lost in time for this fan. God bless.


Rutger Hauer January 23, 1944-July 19, 2019