Rutger Hauer was born into an acting family in the Netherlands. His parents were both actors and drama teachers. Never truly engaged at school, he went to sea with the Dutch Merchant Navy at age 15. He traveled the world and began learning to speak foreign languages, including English, German, and French. On his return home, he went back to school by night and worked as an electrician and a joiner by day. After attending acting school, he got jobs in theater, and joined a troupe that toured small villages in Holland for five years. He also served as a director, costume designer, and translator. He became nationally famous in 1969 in the role of Floris, the hero of a medieval action drama on Dutch television. He made his English-language debut in The Wilby Conspiracy (1975), and worked with director Paul Verhoeven again on the Dutch film Soldier of Orange (1977). He played the villain in his American film debut, Nighthawks (1981). In more than 100 films to date, his favorite and most famous role is as Roy Batty in Blade Runner (1982), now considered a modern classic. Hauer is an environment activist, and also established an AIDS awareness organization called the Rutger Hauer Starfish Association. In 2007, he published his autobiography, All Those Moments: Stories of Heroes, Villains, Replicants, and Blade Runners.