Rutger Hauer

Rutger Oelsen Hauer, born on January 23, 1944, was a well-known Dutch actor. His career began in 1969 with the title character in the Dutch television series “Floris” and soared in 1973 with his major role in “Turkish Delight,” which was selected as the Best Dutch Film of the Century in 1999. Following his worldwide success with “Soldier of Orange” (1977) and “Spetters” (1980), he transitioned into American films such as “Nighthawks” (1981) and “Blade Runner” (1982). Let’s honor the birth of this legendary actor.

Fast Facts

Full Name:

Rutger Oelsen Hauer


Nick Parker

Birth date:

January 23, 1944

Death date:

July 19, 2019 (age 75)

Zodiac Sign:



6' 1"

Relationship Status:


Net Worth:

$16 million

Rutger's Social Media:


Rutger Hauer was born in Breukelen, Netherlands, on January 23, 1944, to Arend Hauer and Teunke Mellema. He was raised in Amsterdam. Because his parents were so preoccupied with their work, he and his three sisters were primarily raised by nannies. Hauer ran away from home at the age of 15 and spent a year scrubbing the deck aboard a freighter. When he returned home, he worked as an electrician and carpenter for three years while taking acting classes at night. He then joined an experimental company for five years before landing the lead role in the hugely successful 1969 television series “Floris,” a Dutch Ivanhoe-style medieval action drama. The role made him renowned in his home country.

Hauer’s career took a turn for the better when director Paul Verhoeven cast him in the lead role in “Turkish Delight” (1973). The film was a box-office success both overseas and at home, and its actor was invited to make his English-language debut in the British film “The Wilby Conspiracy” in 1975. However, Hauer’s supporting performance went unnoticed in Hollywood, and he returned to Dutch films for several years. In the years that followed, he appeared in films and television shows such as “The Hitcher” (1986), “The Legend of the Holy Drinker” (1988), “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” (2003), “Goal II: Living the Dream” (2007), “The Rite” (2011), HBO’s “True Blood” (2013-2014), and “The Last Kingdom” (2015).

In 2016, he served on the film jury for ShortCutz Amsterdam, an annual film festival in Amsterdam that promotes short films. In the 2017 video game “Observer,” Hauer voiced the role of Daniel Lazarski. Hauer had two marriages. His first wife, Heidi Merz, bore him his only child, Aysha Hauer, who was born in 1966. He married his second wife, Ineke ten Cate, on November 22, 1985, in a private ceremony. He released his autobiography “All Those Moments: Stories of Heroes, Villains, Replicants, and Blade Runners” in April 2007, in which he addresses many of his film roles. The book’s proceeds benefit his foundation.

Career timeline

The Television Debut

Hauer lands the lead role in the hugely successful television series "Floris," which makes him a renowned actor.

The Hollywood Debut

Hauer makes his debut in the U.S. through Sylvester Stallone's film "Nighthawks" as Wulfgar, a ruthless and cold-blooded terrorist.

The Most Praised Role

He plays Roy Batty in the sci-fi thriller "Blade Runner," which is arguably his most recognized and praised role.

The Honorary Title

The Dutch audience names him the ‘best Dutch actor of the century.’

The Recognition for his Contributions

Hauer is awarded the Golden Calf Culture Prize for his contributions to Dutch cinema.

The Knighthood

He is appointed a knight in the 'Order of the Netherlands Lion.'

Why We Love Rutger Hauer

  1. His “Blade Runner” speech

    Rutger Hauer was a stylish, talented man who will be remembered fondly by all of us who saw "Blade Runner" and found ourselves watching it over and over again. We were again taken aback by the speech about tears in the rain delivered by someone who is terribly, mournfully dry-eyed.

  2. He was charitable

    Hauer founded the Rutger Hauer Starfish Foundation, an AIDS awareness organization. The foundation is dedicated to giving support, attention, and care to HIV/AIDS-infected children and pregnant mothers.

  3. He was an activist

    Hauer was a committed environmentalist. He was a member of the board of advisors for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

5 Surprising Facts

  1. He authored his “Blade Runner” speech

    As a classically trained actor, Hauer read the script and felt it needed a harder edge.

  2. His parents ran an acting school

    Considering this, it’s no surprise that he became a movie star.

  3. He nearly played RoboCop

    Paul Verhoeven's first choice for the character of Robocop in the eponymous action-satire was Hauer; however, Peter Weller's audition so impressed Verhoeven that he changed his mind.

  4. He was featured on a Dutch stamp

    In 1995, the Dutch Postal Service issued a stamp picturing Hauer in 1973's "Turkish Delight."

  5. He loved to play vampires

    Hauer played several vampire roles including "Dracula III: Legacy & Dracula 3D" and "Haemoglobin," both of which featured blood-sucking creatures.

Rutger Hauer FAQs

What was Rutger Hauer's last role?

He portrayed Ray in the British independent film “Break.”

How many languages did Rutger Hauer speak?

He can speak three languages — Dutch, German, and English.

Is Rutger Hauer blind?

No, but he suffered from color blindness.

Rutger Hauer’s birthday dates

2025January 23Thursday
2026January 23Friday
2027January 23Saturday
2028January 23Sunday
2029January 23Tuesday

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