Happy birthday Rutger Hauer!

Rutger Hauer at the Odessa International Film Festival in 2010
Rutger Hauer at the Odessa International Film Festival in 2010

Rutger Oelsen Hauer (photo ©Odessa International Film Festival) was born on January 23, 1944 in Breukelen, in the province of Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Rutger Hauer’s parents were drama actors but he followed in the footsteps of his grandfather and at 15 he embarked on a merchant ship. He had to abandon the idea of ​​spending his life at sea because of his color blindness. He did various jobs but also started studying acting and in 1967 he obtained the diploma of Dramatic Art in Amsterdam.

After working for several years with an experimental troupe, in 1969 Rutger Hauer was cast to play a knight in the Dutch series “Floris”. He started becoming famous in cinema thanks to director Paul Verhoeven, who chose hime for his movie “Turkish Delight” (1973), which was also successful abroad, and “Keetje Tippel” (1974).

Rutger Hauer’s fame allowed him to start getting parts in foreign movies acting in English. In 1975 he joined the cast of “The Wilby Conspiracy” with a supporting role which was still important. After being in some European movies, Hauer debuted in Hollywood in “Nighthawks” (1981).

In 1982 , Rutger Hauer got the part for which he’s most famous and played the role of the replicant Roy Batty hunted by the character played by Harrison Ford in the masterpiece “Blade Runner”. In a movie that has become an absolute cult, one of the moments that are now part of the popular culture consists of the final words by his character. Concerning their genesis there have been said different versions and according to one of them Rutger Hauer himself created them. The actor claims he “only” changed what was written in the script, improvising a bit on set.

In subsequent years, Rutger Hauer played all kinds of roles in many movies. He has participated in dramas such as “Eureka” (1983) and “The Osterman Weekend” (1983), the romantic fantasy “Ladyhawke” (1985), the thriller (“The Hitcher” (1986), the war movie “Escape from Sobibor” (1987), for which he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor, the autobiographical drama “The Legend of the Holy Drinker” (1989), the action movie “Blind Fury” (1989).

Rutger Hauer was in really a lot of movies but not always their level was very high. On several occasions he had roles in movies that quite forgettable but in recent years he also participated in important movies such “Sin City” in 2005 and “Batman Begins” in 2005.

After the start of his career, Rutger Hauer has only occasionally worked for television but recently he played the protagonist’s grandfather in the TV show “True Blood”.

Rutger Hauer has been married to Ineke ten Kate since 1985 and has a daughter, Aysha, born in 1966. He’s a committed environmentalist and created the foundation “Rutger Hauer Starfish Association” to contribute to AIDS research.

Rutger Hauer has some project for the future. During his career he played very diverse characters, even though some of the most memorable ones are villains or are at least ambiguous and will remain forever in the people’s memory.

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