“…Like tears in the rain…” few actors have likely been as indelibly identified with lines spoken by one of their characters as Rutger Hauer was with those he spoke as Roy Batty, the soulful replicant in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. That soliloquy contributed to making the film the cult movie it was to become and is even more remarkable given that part of it – including the ‘tears in the rain’ part – was ad-libbed on the spot by the Dutch actor who passed away at 75. The hard-living Hauer will be remembered as a one of a kind fearless risk-taker in his craft one of the great male leads of his generation.
Born in Holland in 1944, he began his career in earnest with several collaborations with countryman director Paul Verhoeven (Turkish Delight, Soldier of Orange ). He would eventually work in Hollywood after Blade Runner, starring in a wide array of productions (of widely varying quality), a testament to the versatility which defined both in European and American cinema. From cult sci-fi to genre films (with a preference towards horror spanning Dario Argento to True Blood) to art-house Italian films (Ermanno Olmi’s Legend of the Holy Drinker), his filmography would end up including several roles which have made film history.
The HFPA recognized him with two nominations and Golden Globe for best Best Supporting Actor in Escape From Sobibor (1987).