The Dutch Paul Newman
"I have a lot of energy. I'm a lot stronger than most people." Rutger Hauer
Nicknamed “The Dutch Paul Newman,” Rutger Hauer is widely recognized among moviegoers as Roy Batty in Ridley Scott's film "Blade Runner" (1982). He later won a Golden Globe Award for his brilliant turn in the CBS true story-based TV movie “Escape from Sobibor” (1987).
The tough, 6' 1" blonde, blue-eyed Dutchman, who became well known to the U.K. during the late '80s and early '90s for a series of “Guinness” commercials where he was clad in black, has played both villains and heroes in such films as “Nighthawks” (1981), “Ladyhawke” (1985), “The Hitcher” (1986), “Wanted Dead Or Alive” (1987), "The Legend of the Holy Drinker" (1989), “Blind Fury” (1989), The Blood of Heroes" (1989), "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (1992), "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" (2002), "Sin City" (2005), "The Poseidon Adventure" (2005; TV) and the recently released "Moving McAllister" (2007).
Hauer will star in the upcoming films "Magic Flute Diaries," "Spoon," "Tonight at Noon," and "Happiness Runs." He will also appear on CBS’ upcoming comedy show "Life Is Wild," the U.S. version of the British popular series "Wild at Heart."
On a more personal note, Hauer has been married twice. He has two grown-up children, one of whom is actress Aysha Hauer (born in 1966).
"I don't know what the appeal is. I can see I've got blue eyes and I don't look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame, but I can't understand the fuss." Rutger Hauer
Childhood and Family:
Born in Breukelen, Utrecht, Netherlands, on January 23, 1944, Rutger Oelsen Hauer grew up in Amsterdam. His parents, Arend and Teunke, operated an acting school in Amsterdam and his three sisters (one older, two younger), are all actors.
Because his parents were often touring, Hauer and his sisters were raised primarily by a nanny. Rutger became a sailor at the age of 15 and spent a year scrubbing decks aboard a freighter. Color blind, Hauer couldn't further his career as a sailor. He returned home and found a job in a construction company as an electrician and a carpenter for three years while attending drama classes at night school. He got expelled from the drama school for poor attendance and subsequently enrolled in the Dutch Navy, but was turned down. Hauer later studied drama at the University of Amsterdam.
Hauer was once married to a woman named Heidi Merz and has one child with her. Following their divorce, Hauer married painter and sculptor Ineke ten Kate on November 22, 1985. They have one daughter, actress Aysha Hauer, who made him a grandfather in 1988.
Hauer speaks fluent German (more or less accent-free) and is a dedicated environmentalist. He also formed an AIDS research foundation called “The Rutger Hauer Starfish Foundation.” In 1995, the Dutch Mail Service issued a stamp with Rutger on it, taken from a scene in “Turkish Delight” (1973).
"I hate acting when I see it. I don't want to feel it, I don't want to see it, I want to be taken away with the story. I don't want the actor's ego in front of me. That's what I try to live when I do the work." Rutger Hauer
After working as a sailor and as an electrician and a carpenter in a construction company, Rutger Hauer joined an experimental acting troupe, which he stayed with for around five years. He made his stage debut in 1967 and got the lead role in the very successful 1969 television series “Floris,” a Dutch Ivanhoe-like medieval action show.
In 1973, Hauer made his film debut with the erotic drama "Turkish Delight," which marked his first collaboration with Dutch director Paul Verhoeven. During the next two years, he made his first English-language film in a British feature set in South Africa starring Sidney Poitier and Michael Caine, "The Wilby Conspiracy," and teamed with Verhoeven again for the biopic "Keetje Tippel." Afterward, he landed a starring role in his international breakthrough role, Verhoeven's "Soldier of Orange" (1979), and went to portray a car racing champ idolized by a group of Dutch teens in Verhoeven's "Spetters" (1980).
In 1981, Hauer stepped into Hollywood by playing an international terrorist, opposite Sylvester Stallone, in "Nighthawks." The following year, he made his American TV debut in an ABC docudrama miniseries titled "Inside the Third Reich.” He also enjoyed a breakthrough screen role as Roy Batty in Ridley Scott's neo-noir film "Blade Runner," which earned Hauer a Best Supporting Actor nomination at the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films.
Hauer next found himself working with Sam Peckinpah in "The Osterman Weekend" (1983) and Nicholas Roeg in "Eureka" (1983). He also starred opposite Michelle Pfeiffer in "Ladyhawke" (1985) and received critical acclaim for his co-starring role in the TV-movie "Escape From Sobibor" (1987), which won him a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV.
Next, Hauer won Best Actor at the Seattle International Film Festival and was nominated for Best Foreign Actor at the Sant Jordi for his role in the Italian film directed by Ermanno Olmi, "Leggenda del santo bevitore, La" (1988; aka "The Legend of the Holy Drinker"). He also acted opposite Nastassja Kinski, Peter O'Toole, Faye Dunaway and Lorraine Bracco in writer/director Lina Wertmüller's dramatic film "In una notte di chiaro di luna" (1989; aka "On a Moonlit Night"). Meanwhile, he became well known to the U.K. during the late '80s and early '90s for a series of “Guinness” commercials.
Entering the new decade, Hauer starred in Fran Rubel Kuzui's dark comedy film that led to a darker and much more popular TV series of the same name, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (1992), in which he portrayed Lothos, a local vampire king. He was also featured opposite Diane Keaton in the TNT Golden Globe-nominated biopic about the famous U.S. Aviatrix, "Amelia Earhart: The Final Flight" (1994), portraying Fred Noonan, the flight navigator who disappeared with Amelia Earhart somewhere over the western Pacific during their World Flight, and starred as a local SS homicide detective in the HBO's take on the bestselling 1992 thriller novel by English writer and journalist Robert Harris, "Fatherland" (1994), which earned him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV. Additionally, he became a hunter of humans, opposite Ice-T and Gary Busey, in Ernest R. Dickerson's action film, "Surviving the Game" (1994), which was loosely based on the short story “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell.
Hauer spent the rest of the 1990s appearing opposite Sam Neill in the acclaimed, ambitious, all-star NBC miniseries "Merlin" (1998) and starred as a renowned chief medical examiner in Mario Azzopardi's thriller "Bone Daddy" (1998). He also did a TV commercial for Canal+ and made “De Ridder en de Fakir,” a Dutch TV documentary made in 1999.
The new millennium saw Hauer in the TV documentary film “In Search of the Muse,” the British TV Documentary “On the Edge of Blade Runner” and in the music video for Kylie Minogue's song “On A Night Like This.” He was also in a short comedy sketch on VH1 Music Awards.
In 2001, Hauer tried his hand at directing and helmed the 10-minute film "The Room," which he also starred. The film received praise and won Best Short Film at the Paris Film Festival. Afterward, he played a mysterious hit man in the George Clooney-directed biopic "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" (2002), based on the unauthorized autobiography by Chuck Barris, and portrayed William Earle in Christopher Nolan's superhero film based on the fictional DC Comics character, "Batman Begins" (2005). He also starred as the corrupt Catholic Cardinal Roark in Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez's anthology film based on Miller's graphic novel series, "Sin City" (2005), alongside Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Clive Owen and Jessica Alba, and was the mysterious man in the Russian crime/action film “Zerkalnie voyni: Otrazhenie pervoye” (2005), opposite Malcolm McDowell. Additionally, he portrayed Bishop August Schmidt in the TV movie version of a 1969 disaster novel by Paul Gallico, "The Poseidon Adventure.”
During 2006, Hauer co-starred as a village leader and the father of Tom Hardy's character in Jonathan English's horror film "Minotaur," and played the lead role of a famous university professor in David Langlitz's thought-provoking drama "Mentor." Recently, in 2007, he supported Kuno Becker in Jaume Collet-Serra's soccer movie, which also features David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane and Alessandro Nivola, "Goal II: Living the Dream," and will play a detective in Brian Hooks' newly-released slasher movie "7eventy 5ive." On September 14, his latest film, "Moving McAllister," a comedy by director Andrew Black, was released. In the film, which also stars Mila Kunis, Ben Gourley and Jon Heder, Hauer will play the title role of Gourley's boss.
Hauer has wrapped up his upcoming film projects, writer/director Kevin Sullivan's "Magic Flute Diaries,” Sharlto Copley and Simon Hansen's supernatural thriller "Spoon," in which he will share the title role alongside Darren Boyd, and Michael Almereyda's "Tonight at Noon," opposite Ethan Hawke. He is currently filming writer/director Adam Sherman's drama film, "Happiness Runs," which is slated for a 2008 release. TV audiences will also soon catch Hauer on CBS’ upcoming comedy show "Life Is Wild," the U.S. version of the British popular series "Wild at Heart." The series is currently scheduled to premiere on October 7, 2007.
In April of 2007, Hauer published an autobiography titled “All Those Moments: Stories of Heroes, Villains, Replicants, and Blade Runners,” where he discusses many of his movie roles.
Paris Film Festival: Best Short Film, "The Room," 2001
Rembrandt: Audience Award, 1997
Seattle International Film Festival: Golden Space Needle Award--Best Actor, "Leggenda del santo bevitore, La," 1989
Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV, "Escape from Sobibor," 1988
Nederlands Film Festival: Golden Calf--Best Actor, 1981