Dutch actor Rutger Hauer, best known for his menacing roles in the 1980s including the murderous replicant Roy Batty in "Blade Runner" and a terrorist in "Nighthawks," has died at 75.
Hauer's agent, Steve Kenis, confirmed to USA TODAY that Hauer died July 19 at his home in the Netherlands after a short illness.
In Ridley Scott's 1982 "Blade Runner," his character battled Harrison Ford's Rick Deckard, as the replicant desperately tried to prolong his artificially shortened life in post-apocalyptic, 21st-century Los Angeles.
Hauer made Batty's emotional, rain-soaked death legendary, as a stunned Deckard looks on. The moving soliloquy was rewritten by Hauer the night before the shoot, including the poignant final line.
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.
Hauer said Scott encouraged the changes for the character-driven story.
"So, I look at the script, and I look at my part, because I don’t want to touch anybody’s parts. I shave everything that I feel you don’t need." Hauer told Radio Times in 2017. "For the end line, I was hoping to come up with one line where Roy, because he understands he has very little time, expresses one bit of the DNA of life that he’s felt. How much he liked it. Only one life."
Daryl Hannah, who played fellow doomed replicant Pris, paid respects to Hauer in a statement to USA TODAY.
"I have a profound love and respect for Rutger Hauer. I am heartbroken to learn he has left us," said Hannah. "He was unpredictable, extremely human, inspired, electric and mesmerizing. It was thrilling to work with him as an actor."
Hannah praised Hauer's "mad brand of poetic genius (that) inspired me as a teen in so many films."
"But I will always hear his haunting words from 'Blade Runner' " wrote Hannah. "All these moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.”
Director Scott called the imposing, 6-foot-1 Hauer "the gentle giant" in a statement.
"I don’t know who was more nervous on that first morning of the first day on set in 1982," Scott wrote. "We helped each other through the entire process because it was very challenging. I’ll miss him."
Hauer played the scheming former CEO of Wayne Enterprises in Christopher Nolan's "Batman Begins" in 2005, and he was in the 1985 big-budget fantasy "Ladyhawke." He won a supporting actor Golden Globe Award in 1988 for TV's "Escape from Sobibor."
In 1986's "The Hitcher" he put steely-eyed menace into homicidal hitchhiker John Ryder, who obsessively stalks his innocent driver Jim Halsey (C.Thomas Howell). The over-the-top Ryder, who slipped a severed human finger into the oblivious Halsey's diner french fries, was a favorite dark role for Hauer.
"It's a dance with fear. The fun was to see how it landed," Haeur told The Hollywood Reporter in 2018, describing a midnight screening he attended in Houston. "They were on their chairs. When the Hitcher shoots the helicopter, they screamed! It was great."
In the 1992 horror comedy "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" – a precursor to the popular TV series – he played vampire master Lothos (with his acolyte, Amilyn, played by Paul Reubens), the first significant enemy for Buffy Summers (Kristy Swanson).
Hauer is survived by his wife of 50 years, Ineke ten Cate, and a daughter, actress Aysha Hauer, from a previous marriage.
Contributing: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Rutger Hauer, 'Blade Runner' star, dead; Daryl Hannah 'heartbroken'