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.
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.
Hauer lands the lead role in the hugely successful television series "Floris," which makes him a renowned actor.
Hauer makes his debut in the U.S. through Sylvester Stallone's film "Nighthawks" as Wulfgar, a ruthless and cold-blooded terrorist.
He plays Roy Batty in the sci-fi thriller "Blade Runner," which is arguably his most recognized and praised role.
The Dutch audience names him the ‘best Dutch actor of the century.’
Hauer is awarded the Golden Calf Culture Prize for his contributions to Dutch cinema.
He is appointed a knight in the 'Order of the Netherlands Lion.'
Why We Love Rutger Hauer
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.
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.
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
He authored his “Blade Runner” speech
As a classically trained actor, Hauer read the script and felt it needed a harder edge.
His parents ran an acting school
Considering this, it’s no surprise that he became a movie star.
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.
He was featured on a Dutch stamp
In 1995, the Dutch Postal Service issued a stamp picturing Hauer in 1973's "Turkish Delight."
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