Rutger Hauer has passed away at the age of 75. Even if you don’t know him by name, movie fans know what he looked like. That shock of blonde hair. His face, simultaneously austere and kind. His piercing eyes that could see right through somebody into the next room. Hauer had a presence, all right, and it’s one we’re going to miss.
If you’re reading about Hauer’s death, you’re bound to see a lot of things about “tears in rain.” That is a line from Blade Runner from a monologue Hauer wrote a majority of. Hauer’s turn as replicant Roy Batty ended up being his most iconic role. His epic battle against both Harrison Ford and forced obsolescence was terrifying and heartbreaking.
But Hauer had other film roles I found equally as unforgettable.
His portrayal of the unrelenting terrorist, Wulfgar, in the 1981 Sylvester Stallone action flick, Nighthawks, was chilling. His face was the picture of smug obsession and he relished every single line.
Hauer played good guy Etienne Navarre in 1985’s Ladyhawke opposite Michelle Pfieffer and Matthew Broderick. A gritty sort of fairytale concerning a cursed couple, Hauer played the dashing wounded hero. He was not to be pitied, but he elicited sympathy.
He was a dirtier sort of hero in Jason Eisener’s Hobo with a Shotgun, a low-budget indie thriller filled with blood, sex, and vengeance. Centering it all was Hauer’s take on the Man with No Name, delivering vagabond justice to a filthy city.
In real life, Hauer was married to his second wife, Ineke ten Cate, for fifty years. That is an accomplishment all by itself, perhaps more worthy of celebration than his film career.