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SYFY WIRE obituary

Rutger Hauer, iconic star of Blade Runner, dies at 75

By Josh Weiss
Rutger Hauer

Rutger Hauer, the prolific Dutch actor best known for playing Roy Batty in Ridley Scott's original Blade Runner, has passed away at the age of 75, Variety confirmed today. According to the report, Hauer died a few days ago in the Netherlands on Friday, July 19. The funeral was held today.

In Blade Runner, Batty served as the leader of a group of rogue Replicants who are tracked down and killed by Harrison Ford's android-hunting cop, Rick Deckard. Roy is the last to be terminated, but not before delivers the now-iconic and poignant "Tears in the rain" soliloquy that has come to define the sci-fi classic, which was loosely based on the novel by Philip K. Dick. More than three decades later, Denis Villeneuve directed a sequel, Blade Runner 2049, which Hauer remarked as having "no soul."

"The deepest [role for me] was Blade Runner, because it was the first time where I just danced with the director and, let’s say, the concept and the tone: I understood, on a very strong level, what he wanted, and by instinct I gave it to him. Half the time, what the hell did I know? I was just starting out to be an actor right there," he told Rotten Tomatoes in 2011.

Born in 1944 to the owners of an acting school in the Netherlands, Rutger was introduced to the world of entertainment from the get-go. A bit of a rebel and troubled student growing up, he dabbled in construction and the navy before settling on his destiny. Before his breakout role in 1969's Floris, he acted, directed, and designed costumes for Noorder Compagnie, an avant garde acting company.

While Blade Runner cemented Hauer as a genre icon, he is also celebrated for his performances in projects like The Hitcher (later remade by producer Michael Bay with Sean Bean in the title role), LadyhawkeBatman Begins, Sin City, True Blood, Salem's Lot, Dracula 3D, and The Rite. In 2009, the actor published his autobiography, All Those Moments: Stories of Heroes, Villains, Replicants, and Blade Runners, which was co-written with Patrick Quinlan.

In addition, he fought to bring awareness to AIDS and protecting the environment through non-profits like the Rutger Hauer Starfish Association. After such an accomplished career, he recently received a Lifetime Achievement award at the Lucaa Film Festival in Tuscany, Italy.

Hauer is survived by his second wife, Ineke ten Cate as well as his daughter, Aysha Hauer.