Rutger Hauer Dies Aged 75

Rutger Hauer

by Ben Travis |
Published on

Cult actor Rutger Hauer, beloved for his roles in swathes of sci-fi and horror projects, has died at the age of 75. The Dutch star passed away after a short illness last Friday, 19 July, and his funeral was held today.

Hauer’s most famous role came in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, in which he played Roy Batty – the leader of the renegade replicants being hunted down by Harrison Ford’s Deckard. In his final scene, he delivers the film’s most spine-tingling monologue – an eternally powerful speech that speaks to the very heart of the human experience. It's long been said that Hauer himself re-wrote the scene’s dialogue the night before shooting.

Speaking to Empire in 2015, Hauer reflected on his Blade Runner role, saying: “Roy Batty is the character that deserves most of the credit for my career. For me, it was one of the very important films from an international film director. It was my third film in English and for me to get so lucky and find such a home in this story with Ridley, who really liked what I was doing and felt he could let me go where I wanted. There’s no film that competes with it. It shines completely on its own for ever and ever and ever.”

Elsewhere, Hauer played a psychotic hitch-hiker in Robert Harmon’s 1986 horror The Hitcher, took the lead in Phillip Noyce’s 1989 action comedy Blind Fury, and appeared in the original 1992 Buffy The Vampire Slayer film. In the 2000s he joined some high-profile projects, appearing in Robert Rodriguez’ Sin City as Cardinal Roark and playing Wayne Enterprises CEO William Earle in Batman Begins in 2005. In 2011, he took the lead role in the brutal tongue-in-cheek Grindhouse spin-off Hobo With A Shotgun, starring as a homeless vigilante with a grudge.

He remained prolific, also taking on recurring TV roles. In HBO’s True Blood he played faerie king Niall Brigant across the sixth and seventh season, and starred in BBC viking drama The Last Kingdom in 2015. His last blockbuster was Luc Besson’s Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets, in which he played the President of the World State Federation, and recently took on the role of The Commodore in off-beat Western The Sisters Brothers.

Read Empire’s role-by-role interview with Hauer from 2015 here.

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