Rutger Hauer's Biography Page



Name: Rutger Hauer

Born: Sunday 23rd January, 1944 

Netherlands Breukelen


Blonde, blue-eyed, tall, and very handsome Dutch actor Rutger Hauer has an international reputation for playing everything from romantic leads to action heroes to sinister villains. The son of actors, Rutger was born in Breukelen, Holland. Because his parents were often touring, Rutger and his three sisters were raised by a nanny. A bit of a rebel during his childhood, he did not particularly like school and was often getting into mischief.

His grandfather had been the captain of a schooner, and at the of age 15, Rutger ran away to work on a freighter for a year. Like his great-grandfather, Rutger is colour-blind, which prevented him from furthering his career as a sailor. Upon his return home, he attended school at night and did odd jobs during the day (scene decorator, car washer, carpenter, etc.) . Rutger's passion for cars and motorcycles started at this time, these skills later permitted him to do the most dangerous car stunts in "The Hitcher" without a double. Rutger again decided that school life was not to his liking, his parents enrolled him in drama classes. Fancying himself a poet, Rutger spent most of his time writing poetry and hanging out in Amsterdam coffee houses instead of studying. He got expelled for poor attendance and afterward spent a brief time in the Dutch Navy. Whilst travelling, Rutger found that he had the ability to learn languages, he has mastered English, German, French, Italian and of course Dutch and Frisian! Deciding he didn't like military life, Rutger convinced his superiors that he was mentally unfit and was sent to a special hospital. It was an unpleasant place, but Rutger remained there until he had convinced the doctors that the military really did not need him. This must have been his first acting 'job' !

Upon his return to Amsterdam, Rutger again enrolled in acting school; this time he stayed until he graduated three years later and joined a travelling experimental theatre troupe. Five years later he was cast as a dashing swashbuckler in a Dutch television series. He made his film debut in Monsieur Hawarden (1969), but did not make a name for himself until director Paul Verhoeven cast him as a bohemian sculptor in the erotic drama Turkish Delight in 1973. At one point Rutger faced the camera fully nude. It would not be the last time in which he would do full frontal nudity in his early career.

In 1975, Rutger made his English-language debut playing a womanizing Afrikaner opposite Sidney Poitier and Michael Caine in Ralph Nelson's The Wilby Conspiracy.

Rutger did not make an impression in Hollywood until he was cast as a psychopathic terrorist opposite Sylvester Stallone in Nighthawks (1981). Always excelling in villainous roles, his next major American appearance is also one of his most famous, that of Roy Batty, one of the rebellious Nexus 6 replicants in Blade Runner (1982). He received recognition for his work in the romantic medieval fantasy Ladyhawke (1985) and in Italian director Ermanno Olmi's drama The Legend of the Holy Drinker (1988). In the latter film, Rutger showed that he was more than a pretty boy - action hero by letting his sensitive, gentle side appear. During the '90s, Rutger regularly appeared in lower-budget films and occasionally in such made-for-TV movies such as Call of the Wild (1997). In the early '90s, Rutger tickled and puzzled audiences by appearing in a series of commercials for Guinness.

In April 1997 Rutger received the "Rembrandt" award in the Tuschinski Theatre in Amsterdam. This is the Dutch version of "The People's Choice" award.

In April 1999 Rutger received the "Best Actor of the Century" award in the Netherlands, and was celebrated on Dutch television with a compilation of his films, aired non-stop for a whole day. On the same occasion, "Turkish Delight" and "Soldier of Orange" were voted as the first and second "Best Films of the Century", respectively. A special "Gouden Kalf" award ceremony took place at the Utrecht Film Festival from 22nd September  to 1st October .  At the same time, the press defined him "still the most attractive man on Earth".

2002 was the 20th Anniversary of Blade Runner. Rutger appeared at a number of conventions around the world, USA, in UK and in Sweden, meeting fans and answering questions at the screening of Blade Runner. The proceeds from these conventions went to Rutger’s charity ‘Starfish’.

In 2003 Rutger had a guest staring role in the Series ‘Alias’ - 'Phase One' episode. This was later followed by guest appearances in the series ‘Smallvile’. This was followed by the film ‘Salems Lot’ which was filmed in Australia and in 2004 the film ‘Batman Begins’ – both very successful films.

In Italy, at the Montecatini Film Festival, Rutger was awarded the 'Golden Heron' Career accolade – this was in 2004. Later on this same year, the remake of 'Poseidon Adventure' was filmed in South Africa. This was followed by the film ‘Sin City’ based on Frank Miller's famous graphic novels.

In 2005 Rutger was presented with two Career Achievement Awards. One was in Spain at the Malaga Film Festival and the other in the USA at the Sarasota Film Festival.

2006 continues to see Rutger working very hard. In Rotterdam, Rutger has set up the 'Rutger Hauer Film Factory' this is for the purpose of filmmakers getting together to help young people with talent who wish to get a ‘foot’ in the film industry. Rutger is going to take a very active part in this venture and at the beginning of 2007, a ‘Masterclass’ was held in January where a number of short films were premiered during the Rotterdam Film Festival.

In 2007 Rutger’s long awaited book ‘'All Those Moments: Stories of Heroes, Villains, Replicants, and Blade Runners' is being published and ‘book signings’ are planned later this year.







Posted on Thu, Feb. 03, 2005

Actor honoured for lifetime of roles

He's the character whose death is marked by white doves ascending into the murky, futuristic sky. In death, he is finally free. This scene is one of the most compelling of its genre.
Rutger Hauer is most famous for his role in the classic sci-fi film "Blade Runner." Although he played a non-human replicant, Roy Batty, it is a character the Dutch screen veteran still identifies with nearly 25 years since the movie's release.
"We share the same mind I think, that's kinda scary, I'm not sure if it's good or bad," Hauer, 61, said during a phone interview. "That part of the process of how to make the character your own, as they say, was closely monitored by (director) Ridley Scott."
Hauer adds: "We got along very well and seemed to really understand each other every other moment; he kind of let me go, and I had a ball with it."
Before "Blade Runner," Hauer had already made a name for himself starring in pictures directed by fellow Dutchman Paul Verhoeven such as "Soldier of Orange." The 1981 hit fantasy film "Ladyhawke," in which he starred with Michelle Pfeiffer and Matthew Broderick, introduced Hauer to mainstream American filmgoers the year before "Blade Runner" came out.
Another highlight from Hauer's career is the 1987 made-for-television concentration camp drama "Escape from Sobibor."
"That was one of the more deeper experiences I have had doing a movie," Hauer said. "(Holocaust) survivors were there on set, there in same area where it all happened; it was very heavy, the audiences were always weeping."
Hauer's commanding performance earned him a Golden Globe award that he accepted on his birthday, Jan. 23, 1988. When asked where he keeps the trophy, Hauer paused.
"Shhh!" he said jokingly. "I don't know."
These days, Hauer is busier than ever. He recently completed the made-for-TV, four-hour remake of "The Poseidon Adventure" and the highly anticipated "Batman Begins," which is scheduled for release in June. Directed by Christopher Nolan, the picture boasts an outstanding cast that includes Christian Bale in the title role, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman.
"(The cast) was good support; I had great shoulders to lean on," Hauer said. "The film offers a very interesting concept; it's a fresh script with Batman reinventing himself in a way that is very exciting."
All the proceeds from Friday's "Blade Runner" screening will be donated to The Rutger Hauer Starfish Association, which supports HIV/AIDS-stricken children and pregnant women. Whereas other celebrities donate money, Hauer donates his time in an attempt to put smiles on the patients' faces.
"I was sort of looking for something for years where I could try and do something and make a difference," Hauer said. "I ended up concentrating on something very simple and hands on."
In addition to presenting "Blade Runner," Hauer will be honoured Saturday at the Filmmakers Tribute Dinner. He's not bothered by the fact he will be receiving a Career Achievement Award while still working more than ever.
"No, no it's fine, I'll take it," Hauer joked. "I think I'm not done, though; I'm hoping to direct a few features - I guess I better hurry up."
Hauer will attend a post-film Q&A on Friday. He will receive the Sarasota Film Festival's Career Achievement Award at the Filmmaker's Tribute Dinner at 8 p.m. Saturday at The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota.
Festival update
The first Animal Oscars will be the highlight of the late night wrap party, which takes place 11:30 p.m. Saturday at Chart House, 201 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key. Featured guests will include Lassie, Maggie the Wonder Dog, Babe the Pig and Black Beauty.
Wade Tatangelo, features writer/music critic, can be reached at 745-7051 or wtatangelo@
If you go
What: Tribute to Rutger Hauer: "Blade Runner: Director's Cut"
When: 6:45 p.m., Friday
Where: Regal Hollywood 20, 1993 Main St., Sarasota
Tickets: $8
Information: (877) 733-8491 or