Rutger Hauer, the intense Dutch actor who breathed such memorable life into the human replicant Roy Batty in Blade Runner, has passed away in his home in the Netherlands following a brief illness. He was 75 years old.
He was born Jan. 23, 1944, in Breukelen, the Netherlands, near Amsterdam to two actor parents. He left home at 15 to join the Dutch merchant navy; after returning to Amsterdam in 1962 he briefly studied acting, but exited school again for a stint in the army. Finally he began to work as an actor in an experimental theater troupe.
Characterized by his intense style, he became best known for his role as Roy Batty in the legendary film Blade Runner. Though initially a flop in theaters, the neo-noir science fiction tale of a slave race of androids trying to expand their four-year long life span has become one of the most visually stunning and emotionally rich science fiction films of all time.
Rutger Hauer had been working in film and television since then, appearing in such movies as Batman Begins, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the vampire series True Blood. Most recently he was the voice of the villain Xehanort in the video game Kingdom Hearts 3.
Hauer’s notable charity work included being an advocate for the environmental charity Greenpeace and was the founder the Starfish Association, a non-profit devoted to AIDS awareness.
He is survived by his second wife of 50 years, Ineke ten Cate, and a daughter, actress Aysha Hauer, from his marriage to Heidi Merz.