Remembering Rutger Hauer (1944-2019)
Wednesday,July 24,2019 at 10:49PM
NATHANIEL R in Blade Runner,Buffy,Ladyhawke,RIP,Rutger Hauer,Sin City,Soldier of Orange,Spetters,True Blood,Turkish Delight,foreign films

by Nathaniel R

"All those moments will be lost like tears in the rain."

Thus went the immortal words of Roy Batty,inBlade Runner(1982) as he breathed his last,betrayed by the cruel brevity of life.Rutger Hauer improvised one of cinema's all-time greatest death scenes when he was just 38.The actor,who turned 75 this past January,has now passed on,dying at his home in The Netherlands after a short illness.

Rutger Hauer first came to worldwide fame in 1973 as the star of Paul Verhoeven's Oscar-nominated sexually provocativeTurkish Delight(the most successful Dutch film of all time).More buzzy international hits from his home country followed.Hollywood soon came calling as they usually do when someone who can speak English fluently has multiple imported hits...

In American films he was usually asked to play villains or tertiary characters but the Dutch star had more range than that.Some of his most indelible performances were in headlining sympathetic roles as tragic heroes such asLadyhawkein which he is cursed to be a wolf by night,forever separated from his lover Isabeau (Michelle Pfeiffer) who is a hawk by day.

Il Futuro

As with most Hollywood careers the A-list status didn't last and soon Hauer was relegated to headlining roles in B movies or small roles in mainstream gernre fare.Nevertheless his career endured as he aged,thanks in part to his multilingual flexibility.The last movie I personally saw him in was the Italian pictureIl Futuro(2013) in which he affectingly played a retired actor and blind hermit who becomes the target of a desperate brother and sister eager to free him from his rumored heaps of money.Coincidentally it wasn't his first time playing a blind character.One of his more popular B-movies wasBlind Fury(1990) an action film in which he played a blind swordsman (a loose English language remake ofZatoichi,essentially)

Hauer's most famous character,Roy Batty,resonated so well because he spoke truth about our temporal nature and the existential conundrum of our existence (though Batty's personal God was a flesh and blood scientist rather than a higher power or belief system).Our lives are temporary but great cinema can,when its lucky,live forever.Roy Batty,the most memorable character in a hugely influential classic will live on.So will,at least in flickering images,the actor who inarguably granted him a soul and elevated him into the realm of the truly iconic.Rest in peace,Rutger.And thank you.

15 key Rutger Hauer roles for your queues:

TURKISH DELIGHT (1973,Oscar nominee Best Foreign Film) served as his feature film debut,though he was already in a star in the Netherlands for the leading role in a TV series called "Floris".

SOLDIER OF ORANGE (1977,Golden Globe nominee Best Foreign Film and an Oscar submission from The Netherlands but it was not nominated) in which he resisted the Nazis in World War II.

SPETTERS (1980) in which he played a legendary motorcross champ.

NIGHTHAWKS (1981) In which he terrorized Sylvester Stallone and Billy Dee Williams.

BLADE RUNNER (1982) In which he pummeled Harrison Ford,cuddled Daryl Hannah,and killed his Creator.

LADYHAWKE (1985) In which he yearned for Michelle Pfeiffer,his similarly cursed soulmate.

THE HITCHER (1986) In which he terrorized C Thomas Howell and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

ESCAPE FROM SOBIBOR (1987,Golden Globe winner Best Supporting Actor in a Miniseries) in which he played a Russian Jew and Nazi prisoner.

THE LEGEND OF THE HOLY DRINKER (1988,Italy's Oscar submission that year) *possibly his best reviewed performance* in which he plays a homeless man in Paris.

BLIND FURY (1989) in which he played a blind swordsman.

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (1992) In which he sucked blood as local vampire boss Lothos.

SIN CITY (2005) in which his icy blues were rescued from the black and white.

BATMAN BEGINS (2005) In which he helped run Wayne Enterprises.

TRUE BLOOD (season 7,2014) in which he played fairy grandfather to the Stackhouse kids.

SISTERS BROTHERS (2018) his most recent American picture to be released in theaters.

P.S.According to IMDb he has five more pictures or TV series in some stage of post production though we don't fully know if he completed work on each of them: British crime dramaBreak,Lee Tamahori's action epicEmperor,the Schwarzenegger/Chan pictureThe Mystery of Dragon Seal: Journey to China,Michael Almereyda's relationship dramaTonight at Noon,and a new TV miniseries version ofA Chrismas Carolin which he was set to play the Ghost of Christmas Future.At the very least we'll be able to see him a couple of more times onscreen.

Article originally appeared on The Film Experience (//亚博主页
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