This week saw the sad demise of a towering icon of my youth, the great and somewhat underrated Rutger Hauer. From an early age I enjoyed many of his performances; from the brooding and terrifying John Ryder in The Hitcher to the comical but touching Nick Parker in Blind Fury. Of course, all of these roles pale into insignificance when compared to Roy Batty in the seminal sci-fi classic, Blade Runner.
This film, widely recognised as one of the greats, would not have been half the film it was without his complex and disturbing portrayal of the artificial being on a quest to understand his origins and prevent annihilation. Roy, while being an unapologetic murderer and psychopath, is one of the few truly evil characters in the pantheon that engenders genuine sympathy in the end.
And what an end! Rutger apparently re-wrote Roy’s famous final speech (which I’m sure you don’t need me to regurgitate here) and it continues to echo down the ages. A quick internet search reveals references in sources as diverse as Yu-Gi-Oh!, Soldier (Kurt Russell), Deadpool and My Little Pony!
I was delighted to see him most recently in Valarian And The Complicated Film Title but other than that I’ve not been keeping up with his work. I must revisit his back catalogue in tribute.
Rest in peace, Mr Guinness.