Blade Runner actor Rutger Hauer has died at age 75

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

Rutger Hauer, death, Blade Runner

As I sit in my office while listening to the Orchestral Adaptation of Music Composed for BLADE RUNNER by Vangelis, it is with heavy heart that I report the passing of Golden Globe-winning actor Rutger Hauer. Aged 75 years, Hauer died on July 19 at his home in the Netherlands after battling a brief but fatal illness.

The news was reported by Hauer’s agent, Steve Kenis, who says that a service was held for the beloved actor on Wednesday.

While having an astounding 174 acting credits to his name, perhaps Hauer's most iconic role was as Roy Batty, the vindictive villain featured in Ridley Scott's sci-fi masterpiece, BLADE RUNNER. As Batty, Hauer lead a group of outlaw replicants in the film, who challenged Harrison Ford's Rick Deckard with every step through Scott's legendary noir.

Along his storied career, Hauer starred as the charismatic vampire Lothos for Joss Whedon's BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. He also arrived as Cardinal Roark in filmmakers Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller's adaptation of SIN CITY, the corporate villain, Earle, of Christopher Nolan's BATMAN BEGINS, and as Niall Brigant for HBO's vampire drama series TRUE BLOOD. With his striking features, stark demeanor, and professional approach to each and every role, Hauer had made a name for himself while portraying some of the most notorious threats throughout Hollywood. If the aforementioned roles aren't enough to convince you, perhaps it's best to remind you that Hauer also starred as Van Helsing for Dario Argento's DRACULA 3D, and as Barlow the vampire for the miniseries adaptation of Stephen King's SALEM'S LOT. In recent times, you can catch Hauer as Joseph Peach in the CHANNEL ZERO miniseries or as Tillman for the British comedy series PORTERS.

Hauer made his name known throughout the Hollywood scene during the 1960s, after starring in Paul Verhoeven’s medieval TV series FLORIS. Unafraid to venture onto projects that were considered a might taboo, Hauer then re-teamed with Paul Verhoeven for the filmmaker's explicit drama, TURKISH DELIGHT. Like the film itself, Hauer had received much praise for his part in Verhoeven's foreign romance feature, a role that helped define Hauer as a star on the rise.

In wanting to hone his skills while contributing to action-oriented features, Hauer accepted the role of Heymar 'Wulfgar' Reinhardt opposite Sylvester Stallone for director Bruce Malmuth's NIGHTHAWKS. As the '80s pressed on, Hauer lead Richard Donner's LADYHAWKE as Navarre opposite Matthew Broderick's Gaston and Michelle Pfeiffer's Isabeau. He also embraced his dark side while portraying an unhinged killer named John Ryder for Robert Harmon's THE HITCHER.

Rutger Hauer, death, Blade Runner

After starring in productions belonging to both the big and small screens, Hauer married the stage by becoming a member of the touring experimental troupe Noorder Compagnie. As an esteemed member of the group, Hauer acted, directed, designed costumes, and served as a translator for many projects throughout several years.

While Hauer will always be remembered by many of us here at JoBlo as the conniving Roy Batty, there's no doubt that his contributions to the entertainment spectrum are vast and astounding. We here at JoBlo wish Mr. Hauer safe passage to the hereafter, and would like to extent our most sincere condolences to his family, friends, and fans.

If you'd like to honor the life of Rutger Hauer, why not feature some of the actor's best and brightest at your next film party? Personally, I'll be digging out my copy of HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN this weekend, in addition to re-watching BLADE RUNNER for old times sake.

Source: Variety

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.