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‘Blade Runner’ baddie actor Rutger Hauer dies at 75

AP file photo

Actor Rutger Hauer is seen at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, in January 2013.

The Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — Dutch film actor Rutger Hauer, who specialized in menacing roles, including a memorable turn as a murderous android in “Blade Runner” opposite Harrison Ford, has died. He was 75.

Hauer’s agent, Steve Kenis, said Wednesday the actor died July 19 at his home in the Netherlands.

Hauer’s roles included a terrorist in “Nighthawks” with Sylvester Stallone, Cardinal Roark in “Sin City” and playing an evil corporate executive in “Batman Begins.” He was in the big-budget 1985 fantasy “Ladyhawke,” portrayed a menacing hitchhiker who’s picked up by a murderer in the Mojave Desert in “The Hitcher” and won a supporting-actor Golden Globe award in 1988 for “Escape from Sobibor.”

Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro in a tweet called Hauer “an intense, deep, genuine and magnetic actor that brought truth, power and beauty to his films.” Gene Simmons, the KISS bassist who starred opposite Hauer in “Wanted: Dead or Alive,” described his former co-star as “always a gentleman, kind and compassionate.”

In “Blade Runner,” Hauer played the murderous replicant Roy Batty on a desperate quest to prolong his artificially shortened life in post-apocalyptic, 21st-century Los Angeles.

In his dying, rain-soaked soliloquy, he looked back at his extraordinary existence. “All those moments will be lost in time. Like tears in rain. Time to die,” he said.

“It’s so much fun to playfully roam into the dark side of the soul and tease people,” the actor told The Associated Press in 1987. “If you try to work on human beings’ light side, that’s harder. What is good is hard. Most people try to be good all their lives. So you have to work harder to make those characters interesting.”

Hauer’s ruggedly handsome face, blue eyes and strong physique drew the attention of American producers in such international successes as “Turkish Delight,” ‘’Spetters” and “Soldier of Orange.” The offers from the United States came as a surprise to Hauer, who faced the same uncertain future experienced by other Dutch film actors.

“We make about 10 films a year, all in Dutch,” he recalled. “You act for your own community, basically, which is fine. But you can’t live on it. There is also the danger of overexposure; you can’t be too greedy.” After the world recognition for “Soldier of Orange,” a friend suggested Hauer might be able to find work in American films.Speech

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