utger Hauer has died at the age of 75 and it’s a damned pity. Hauer in another reality would be laden with Oscars, BAFTA’s and be lauded as one of the greatest actors, and leading men of his generation. Instead he forged a solid career but never got the acclaim, or often the roles, he deserved.
Like most people outwith of The Netherlands, I first saw Hauer in Blade Runner and was blown away by him and one scene in particular.
It was when I was older that I discovered his earlier work with Paul Verhoeven, with Turkish Delight…
And the still extraordinary Soldier of Orange. Apart from Blade Runner this is the best film he ever made and contains this amazing scene of Nazi homoeroticism.
Then there’s the glorious joy of Ladyhawke…
And the barking mad insanity of Flesh and Blood.
The ceeeping dread of The Hitcher. His opening scene is just fucking scary as anything.
The Legend of the Holy Drinker should have cemented his reputation as a true great of acting.
But instead genre fare came his way with the 1990’s being somewhat of a barren wasteland creatively, unless you count his mysterious Guinness ads from the time as a high, which compared to some of the crap he was in, they certainly were.
And yes, I’ll admit these ads shaped my dress sense for the late 80’s with lots of collarless shirts and long black coats.
In 2005 a couple of cameos in big Hollywood films came coming with Sin City and Batman Begins. These should have kick started a revival but sadly no, and Hauer stayed working constantly with his last role of real note being the title character of Hobo With A Shotgun.
Hauer leaves behind a huge CV. Most of it isn’t worth paying attention to but dear god, some of the highlights shine and there’s so many highlights. He’ll be missed for what he did and what he could have done as well.