Rutger Hauer sadly passed away July 19th, 2019. Hauer was a character actor best known for genre films. His most famous and beloved role was the replicant (a type of cyborg) Roy Batty in the 1982 movie Blade Runner. If Hauer had done nothing else, he would still be fondly remembered for this performance.
It is said there are only so many basic story types. Blade Runner can be seen as a take on Frankenstein: man vs his creation.
The three replicants in the film seek vengeance against Eldon Tyrell, the rich scientist who created them. They want longer lifespans than just the four years they are given. Theirs are close to ending. Although the replicants are the antagonists in the film, Hauer’s final speech makes it impossible not to feel sympathy for their plight. Roy Batty’s final speech is made even more incredible by the fact that Hauer improvised the entire thing. It wasn’t in the original script.
Essential Rutger Hauer performances include: the movies Ladyhawke, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and The Hitcher. To my knowledge, his last widely celebrated big screen performance was the title role in 2011’s violent instant cult classic Hobo With a Shotgun. It was deeply disappointing that the filmmakers did not find a way to bring him back for Blade Runner 2049.
Hauer will be missed, but his legacy in sci-fi and fantasy cinema history is secure.
Here’s Rutger Hauer’s beautiful, iconic Tears in the Rain speech from the 1982 Blade Runner:
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