Rutger Hauer obituary: Blade Runner and Batman Begins star dies aged 75

Rutger Hauer, best known for his memorable role as cyborg Roy Batty in Blade Runner, has died at the age of 75.

His agent confirmed that the Dutch actor had died in the Netherlands on Friday after a short illness.His funeral was held earlier today.

Born in 1944 in Breukelen, Hauer served a short stint as a medic in the army before finishing his training as an actor.

His first major break came in 1969 when he was cast by fellow Dutchman Paul Verhoeven in the title role of the historical TV series Floris. He would go on to work with Verhoeven on a number of other films including The Sensualist (1973), Katie Tippel (1975) and Soldier of Orange (1977).

Having starred in a number of Dutch films during the 1970s, Hauer then gained attention in Hollywood when he played sinister terrorist Heymar ‘Wulfgar’ Reinhardt in the Sylvester Stallone-starring action-thriller Nighthawks (1981).

However, his most renowned role came the following year when he portrayed blond-haired “replicant” Roy Batty in the cult sci-fi drama Blade Runner (1982).

Directed by Ridley Scott, the film saw Hauer’s character deliver a famous speech during a climatic face-off with Harrison Ford; dialogue which he helped write himself.

“All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.”

Though Blade Runner underperformed at the box-office, it would go to achieve cult status and is still regarded as one of the all-time great sci-fi films.

Hauer also had memorable roles in other popular 80s flicks including heroic captain Navarre in the fantasy Ladyhawke (1985), murderous hitch-hiker John Ryder in the thriller The Hitcher (1986) and alcoholic homeless man Andreas Kartak in the Italian drama The Legend of the Holy Drinker (1988).

The 90s produced less success for him as he found himself working on a number of low budget and cult films; the biggest being Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992). He also contributed roles in a couple of notable fantasy series including Merlin (1998) and The 10th Kingdom (2000).

He did enjoy a renaissance in the naughties with his performances as Keeler in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002), Cardinal Roak in Sin City (2005) and as Rudi van der Merwe in Goal II: Living the Dream (2007). The most notable appearance though came in the comic-book blockbuster Batman Begins (2005) where he played shady CEO William Earle.

Hauer’s final few years saw him star in more low-budget flicks that did include memorable roles as the homeless vigilante in Hobo with a Shotgun (2011), as Van Helsing in the horror flop Dracula 3D (2012) and as the Commodore in The Sisters Brother (2018).

He also popped up a number of renowned television series towards the end including six episodes of True Blood (2013-14) plus The Last Kingdom (2015) and Porters (2017-19). He was due to appear as the Ghost of Christmas Future in a new adaptation of A Christmas Carol but it is yet known whether he had finished filming it prior to his death.

Hauer is survived by his second wife and two chidren.

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