AMAZING, WONDERFUL ACTOR RUTGER HAUER PASSES AWAY AT 75 YEARS
So this has left me in a little bit of a funk. I love Rutger Hauer. He’s passed away at 75 years. I think his body of work has so much variety that it still surprises me to consider it. The first time I ever saw him was when he played the replicant’s leader in the now cult-classic, Blade Runner. My first impression of him was as a totally spooky and frightening creature that deserved respect and unreserved sympathy. I suppose that carried over into how I perceived many of his other roles. But also, I’m a little shocked to now know that he was Dutch and not German! Sure, many of his movies had a huge impact when I was coming of age. But this guy spoke several languages fluently. So I had no idea that he was speaking a second (or third, or fourth) language in the movie, Das Boot.
RUTGER HAUER BROUGHT DISTURBING DEPTH TO EVERY ROLE HE PLAYED SPANNING DECADES
But Hauer passed away in his Dutch home at age 75 after a sudden illness which I haven’t seen anyone identify yet. Many younger people will only really know him from his recent TV roles, or maybe from Batman Begins. Sigh, maybe even Hobo With a Shotgun…. But consider that last. A major star playing the title role in a blood spatter film? But with Rutger Hauer, the unusual was always fun. If he wanted to do a fun project, well, he went and did it. I still wonder at his role in the film Ladyhawke, with Michelle Pfeiffer and Matthew Broderick! That was perfect fun, way back in the 1980’s.
SOME OF HIS BEST WORK (AND MOST FUN!) WILL BE DISMISSED BY MOVIE BUFFS
But there are some other films that you won’t see mentioned in any celebratory obits. Two of my personal favorites are Blood of Heroes and Blind Fury. The first was a post-apocalyptic piece with Joan Chen. They played juggers, who were wandering gladiators, fighting each other for the honor of placing a dog skull on a stick. The movie stands up today, a testament to meaning in a life of meaninglessness. The second film you won’t hear about is about an MIA Viet Nam vet who returns home, blind from a grenade explosion. Blind, yes. But also a sword master who sees justice in a crime-ridden America all too clearly. If you loved Rutger Hauer too and don’t know these movies, find them. Watch them. And offer a salute to a great 75-year-old artist who painted on any canvas he found to be worthwhile.
He’ll be missed.