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'A magnetic actor': Blade Runner star Rutger Hauer dies aged 75

Tributes have been flooding in for the actor this evening.
Jul 24th 2019, 9:44 PM 22,736 27

Obit Rutger Hauer Rutger Hauer in 2013 Source: Victoria Will via PA Images

ACTOR RUTGER HAUER, who became a global cult icon for his role in the 1982 Blade Runner, has died at the age of 75.

Hauer’s non-profit HIV/AIDS charity, the Rutger Hauer Starfish Association, said on its website it was announcing “with infinite sadness that after a very short illness, on Friday, July 19, 2019, Rutger passed away peacefully at his Dutch home”.

Dutch media said Hauer was buried at a private ceremony.

Blade Runner, set in a dystopian Los Angeles of 2019 and directed by Ridley Scott,  catapulted Hauer to international stardom.

On the 30th anniversary of the film’s release in 2012, Hauer told reporters in Milan that it “was completely delicious to work on. I can’t even fathom how it feels to be alive and an icon basically because of this movie”.


Tributes have been flooding in for the actor this evening.

Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro in a tweet called Hauer “an intense, deep, genuine and magnetic actor that brought truth, power and beauty to his films”.

Gene Simmons, the KISS bassist who starred opposite Hauer in Wanted: Dead or Alive, described his former co-star as “always a gentleman, kind and compassionate”.

Singer Bryan Adams said: “RIP Rutger Hauer, it was great working with you.” 

Tweet by @Vincent D'Onofrio Source: Vincent D'Onofrio/Twitter

Tweet by @Lost in Film Source: Lost in Film/Twitter

Tweet by @Colin o'donoghue Source: Colin o'donoghue/Twitter

Early life

Born on 23 January 1944 in Breukelen just outside Amsterdam to Dutch parents who were both actors and ran an acting school, Hauer showed an early rebellious streak.

At 15 he ran away to sea, travelling the world on a Dutch Merchant Navy freighter.

After returning to the Netherlands, he took up acting properly joining a touring company bringing theatre to Dutch villages.

In 1969, he got his first real break when he was cast in the lead role of a swashbuckling historical Dutch television series called Floris, directed by the then little known Paul Verhoeven. 

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Verhoeven cast Hauer in his first major film role in Turkish Delight in 1973. 

However, it was when Hauer was teamed up with Hollywood star Sylvester Stallone in the 1981 thriller Nighthawks that he first came to the attention of American audiences.

The following year he appeared as Batty, model number N6MAA10816, the leader of the renegade Nexus-6 replicants in Blade Runner.

For half a century Hauer was prolific, working on more than 100 films.

He was also a noted campaigner for HIV/Aids research and set up his own association in 2000, in addition to his work as an environmentalist.

In the late 1980s, Hauer became the face and voice of the quirky Pure Genius adverts for Guinness beer.

And in 2015 he said he fulfilled a dream by playing Viking poet and seer Ravn in the BBC’s drama series The Last Kingdom.

The recipient of many awards, Hauer won a Golden Globe for supporting actor in 1988 for his role in a British made-for-TV world War II drama Escape from Sobibor.

He was nominated again in 1995 for his role in the TV film Fatherland.

With reporting by Associated Press and © AFP 2019  

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Hayley Halpin


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