Blond, blue-eyed, tall and handsome Dutch actor Rutger Hauer enjoyed an international reputation for playing everything from romantic leads to action heroes to sinister villains. Hauer was born in Breukelen, a Dutch town and former municipality in the province of Utrecht.
He was the son of Teunke (Mellema) and Arend Hauer, actors who operated an acting school. As his parents were often touring, he and his three sisters were raised by a nanny. A bit of a rebel during his childhood, he chafed at the rules and rigors of school and was often getting into mischief. His grandfather had been the captain of a schooner and at age fifteen, Hauer ran away to work on a freighter for a year. Like his great-grandfather, Hauer was color-blind, which prevented him from furthering his career as a sailor.
Upon his return he attended night school and started working in the construction industry. When he again bombed at school, his parents enrolled him in drama classes. An amateur poet, he spent most of his time writing poetry and hanging out in Amsterdam coffee houses instead of studying. He was expelled for poor attendance and afterward spent a brief period in the Dutch navy.
Deciding he didn’t like military life, Hauer honed his acting skills trying to convince his superiors he was mentally unfit and was sent to a special home for psych patients. It was an unpleasant place, but Hauer remained there until he had convinced his ranking officers that the military really did not need him.
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