Blade Runner Star Rutger Hauer Dead at 75

Rutger Hauer, the acclaimed Dutch actor best known for roles in Blade Runner, Sin City, and Batman Begins, has died at the age of 75. Hauer apparently passed away on June 19th at his home in the Netherlands, following a brief illness.

The actor's funeral was reportedly held last Wednesday, according to his agent Steve Kenis, Variety reports.

Hauer was born on January 23, 1944 in Breukelen, Netherlands. He was the son of two drama teachers, and the second of four children, with him being the only boy. He grew up in Amsterdam, and at age 15 took off to work at sea for a year. He would then return to work odd jobs while finishing his high school studies, and started at the Academy for Theater and Dance, until he was drafted to serve as a combat medic in the Royan Netherlands Army.

After working in an experimental acting troupe, Hauer got his break thanks to director Paul Verhoeven (Basic Instinct), who cast the young actor in his 1969 Medieval TV series, Floris. The series made Hauer a star in the Netherlands, and he worked with Verhoeven on the film Turkish Delight (1973), which gained international attention. By the mid-70s Hauer was doing English-language films over Britain, but still didn't yet have the attention of Hollywood. That changed when Sylvester Stallone cast Rutger Hauer as the terrorist villain in his cult-hit 1981 film, Nighthawks.

The Nighthawks role broke Hauer into Hollywood, and in 1982 he made an even bigger impression in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner. Many Hollywood roles followed, as Hauer became a noted character actor, with standout performances in cult-classics like Ladyhawke, The Hitcher, The Osterman Weekend and almost played Robocop before Peter Weller got the role. He also continued working on TV and movie roles in both the UK and US, earning acclaim throughout the 1990s.

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By the 2000s Hauer could've been understandably slowing down, but intstead hit a faster stride. He took on character acting roles in 2000s hits like George Clooney's Confessions of a Dangerous Mind; Robert Rodriguez's Sin City; Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins; and even got his own starring role in Hobo With a Shotgun, a spinoff of the fake trailers in Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino's Grindhouse movie. He would finish out his career making his most notable appearances in geek culture fare, like Valerian, Galavant, True Blood, and even gaming projects like Kingdom Hearts III. In short, Hauer never really fell out of relevance, through greatly changing time in the industry.

We wish Ruger Hauer's family and friends our condolences in their time of grieving. He will be sorely missed.