Rutger Oelsen Hauer was born in Breukelen, a town a few miles south of Amsterdam, on January 23, 1944. His parents, Arend and Teunke, together ran a school for actors, both teaching.

Whilst Hauer's first stage appearance came when he was only five, his first significant role was in the Sophocles tragedy, Ajaxin at the age of eleven, and he made his film debut a year later in Asmodée. However, his life didn't then follow the classic pattern of so many child actors.

He was a rebellious teenager and ran away from home to join the Dutch Merchant Navy at the age of fifteen, spending the next year travelling all over the world. It was during this period that he discovered his talent for languages - something that has stood him in good stead throughout his acting career.

At the end of this experience, when he returned to the Netherlands, he enrolled in acting classes at night school , working during the day as a scene decorator and carpenter. This was followed by a short stint as a stagehand for the Antroposofisch Centrum in Basel, Switzerland, where he met and married his first wife, and the couple had a daughter, Aysha.

Between 1967 and 1973 Hauer toured with the Frisian Noorder Compagnie as a director, costume designer and translator, and in 1969, while still with the company he began a long collaboration with director Paul Verhoeven when he stared in the TV series, Floris, and this collaboration brought him his first real success in 1973 when he starred in Verhoeven's Turkish Delight, which was nominated for Best Foreign Film in that year's Academy Awards.

He went on to star in a number of European films between 1973 -1981. As European cinema of this period was more 'liberated' it's Hollywood counterpart, Hauer, like his contemporary Gerard Depardieu, often played scenes involving full frontal nudity -- but in 'legitimate' movies - neither actor indulged in porn.

In 1981 he made his first "Hollywood" movie, Nighthawks, with Sylvester Stallone. Unlike Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has traded on his accent, Hauer hired the well-known dialogue coach, Dr. Robert Easton, to rid him of his, so that he could play an American as easily as a non-American.

It was as Roy Batty in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner -- a part he was cast in after Scott saw his performance in Paul Verhoeven's Soldaat van Oranje -- that Hauer really made his mark, however.

Batty is an extraordinary character, apparently evil, certainly terrifying, but as the film progresses you see depths to him and motivations which make his actions understandable, and in the final climax, he is not destroyer, but saviour. It is the most challenging role in the film and Hauer's flawless performance it, along with the incredible cinematography and set design of the movie, is what has lifted Blade Runner into the realms of a classic. The achievement is even more outstanding when one realises (according to an interview with Ridley Scott in a documentary about the making of the movie) that Batty's final death speech "I've seen things you people couldn't believe -- attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion, I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die" was not as scripted, but improvised - by a non-native English speaker in one of his earliest English language films.

In 1985 he married his second wife Ineke, a painter and sculptor, with whom he had been involved since his pre-Hollywood days.

Somehow, Hauer has failed to ever be a "Really Big Star", whilst simultaneously being instantly recognisable. He works pretty much constantly -- he has starred in many films and TV mini-series, turning in excellent performances in roles of chilling evil, like John Ryder in "The Hitcher", or brooding magnificence like Henri Navarre in "Ladyhawke". He was also, for several years, the face behind Guinness in the UK - his white-blond hair and black clothing echoing the colours of the drink in a series of somewhat surreal advertisements.

Hauer won a Golden Globe for best supporting actor in Escape from Sobibor and in 1999 his native Holland named him Actor of the Century and his film Turkish Delight, Film of the century - but he doesn't command "star" salaries or roles. He, like so many of his films, remains something of a cult.


  • Asmodée,
  • Monsieur Hawarden
  • Turkish Delight
  • Repelsteeltje
  • Pusteblume
  • Keetje Tippel,
  • The Wilby Conspiracy,
  • Das Amulett des Todes
  • Het Jaar van de kreeft,
  • La Donneuse
  • Max Havelaar
  • Soldaat van Oranje
  • Pastorale 1943
  • Mysteries
  • Grijpstra en De Gier
  • Een Vrouw tussen hond en wolf
  • Spetters
  • Nighthawks
  • Channel Solitaire
  • Blade Runner
  • Eureka
  • A Breed Apart
  • Flesh & Blood
  • Ladyhawke
  • The Hitcher
  • Wanted: Dead or Alive
  • La Leggenda del santo bevitore
  • The Blood of Heroes
  • Blind Fury
  • In una notte di chiaro di luna
  • Bloodhounds of Broadway
  • Deadlock
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Split Second
  • Beyond Justice
  • Arctic Blue
  • Nostradamus
  • Blood of the Innocent
  • The Beans of Egypt, Maine
  • Precious Find
  • Omega Doom
  • Mariette in Ecstasy
  • Crossworlds
  • Blast
  • Knockin' on Heaven's Door
  • Bleeders
  • Deathline
  • Tactical Assault
  • Bone Daddy
  • Simon Magus
  • New World Disorder
  • Partners in Crime
  • Wilder
  • Lying in Waiting
  • Turbulence 3
  • Ocean Warrior
  • The Room
  • The Last Words of Dutch Schultz
  • Jungle Juice
  • Flying Virus
  • Banchieri di Dio
  • Scorcher
  • Warrior Angels
  • Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
  • Temptations
  • Salem's Lot
  • Dracula III:Legacy
  • In the Shadow of the Cobra
  • Batman Begins
  • Mirror Wars
  • The Poseidon Adventure