Legendary 'Blade Runner' Actor Rutger Hauer Dead At 75

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How Did Rutger Hauer Die? New Details On The Death Of Legendary 'Blade Runner' Actor At 75

Rutger Hauer was a legendary Dutch actor best known for his role as replicant Roy Batty in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner. He died last Friday at his home in the Netherlands. He was 75. He reportedly died after a short illness. His funeral was on Wednesday. He is survived by his second wife, Ineke ten Cate, who he has been with since 1968 (they married in 1985), as well as his daughter Aysha Hauer and his grandchild. How did Rutger Hauer die? Let's look at his epic career and life. 

1. He's from the Netherlands

Rutget Hauer was born on January 23, 1944 in Breukelen in Utrecht, Netherlands. At the time of his birth, the Netherlands were under German occupation during World War II. His parents, Tuenke and Arend Hauer ran an acting school in Amsterdam. He had three sisters. He left school at 15 to join the Dutch merchant Navy. He spent a year on a freighter traveling the world but due to being color blind, he wasn't promoted to captain. He left the Navy and moved back home to work odd jobs while finishing high school at night. He enrolled in the Academy for Theatre and Dance in Amsterdam to take acting classes, but dropped out to become a combat medic in the Royal Netherlands Army. He left the Army after a few months over his opposition to deadly weapons and returned to acting school. He graduated in 1967. 

In a 1981 interview in 1981, Hauer said: "I was born in the middle of the war, and I think for that reason I have deep roots in pacifisim. Violence frightens me."

2. Early career

After graduating from the Academy for Theatre and Dance, he joined an experimental theatre troupe. Soon he was cast in his first television role in Paul Verhoeven's 1969 TV series Floris, which made him famous in his home country. Hauer reprised his role in the medieval action drama in the 1975 German remake Floria von Rosemund. Hauer was then cast in Verhoeven's 1973 film Turkish Delight. That movie grabbed the attention of audiences outside of the Netherlands and catapulted Hauer to international fame. He made his English-language debt in the 1975 English film The Wilby Conspiracy. After that he returned to Dutch films for the next few years. He made his American film debut in 1981's Nighthawks alongside Sylvester Stallone. Hauer played Wulfgar, a psychopathic and cold-blooded terrorist.

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3. Blade Runner

Rutger Hauer had a long and successful career, but he is still best known for his second American film role in 1981's Blade Runner. Hauer played the replicant Roy Batty, a violent and eccentric,but sympathetic antihero that Harrison Ford's character Rick Deckard was trying to capture. The film was an instant cult classic, mostly due to Hauer's tears in the rain monologue. Hauer wasn't a fan of the original monologue in the script, which apparently went on and on and on, so the night before shooting he cut it way down and wrote the film's now iconic final line: "All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.”

4. After Blade Runner

Hauer went on to star in a number of films after Blade Runner, including Eureka, The Osterman Weekend, Flesh & Blood and Ladyhawke. He played the role of the psychopathic hitckhiker in 1986's The Hitcher, a spy in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, a corrupt cardinal in Sin City and as the CEO of Wayne Enterprises in Batman Begins, among other films. Hauer also appeared in a number of TV shows including Smallville andTrue Blood. Hauer racked up about 174 film and TV credits in his career — including seven that haven't been released yet

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5. Awards and Accolades

One of Hauer's most notable roles was in the 1987 British TV movie Escape From Sobibor. Hauer won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor for his role in that movie. In 1994, he won another Golden Globe, this time for Best Actor in a Miniseries of TV Film for the World War II dramaa Fatherland.

6. Family and legacy

Rutger Hauer was a committed environmentalist who supported the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and was a member of the foundation's board of advisors. He established an AIDS awareness program called the Rutget Hauer Starfish Association. His 2007 memoir All Those Moments: Stories of Heroes, Villains, Replicants, and Blade Runners, the proceeds of which go to the Rutger Hauer Starfish Association. 

Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based freelance writer covering entertainment, pop culture, beauty, fashion, fitness, technology, and the intersection of technology, business, and philanthropy. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.