On This Day … 23 January [2023]


People (Births)

  • 1944 – Rutger Hauer, Dutch actor, director, and producer (d. 2019).
  • 1950 – Richard Dean Anderson, American actor, producer, and composer.

People (Deaths)

  • 2021 – Hal Holbrook, American actor and director (b. 1925).

Rutger Hauer

Rutger Oelsen Hauer (23 January 1944 to 19 July 2019) was a Dutch actor. In 1999, he was named by the Dutch public as the Best Dutch Actor of the Century.

Hauer’s career began in 1969 with the title role in the Dutch television series Floris and surged with his leading role in Turkish Delight (1973), which in 1999 was named the Best Dutch Film of the Century. After gaining international recognition with Soldier of Orange (1977) and Spetters (1980), he moved into American films such as Nighthawks (1981) and Blade Runner (1982), starring in the latter as self-aware replicant Roy Batty. His performance in Blade Runner led to roles in The Osterman Weekend (1983), Ladyhawke (1985), The Hitcher (1986), The Legend of the Holy Drinker (1988), and Blind Fury (1989), among other films.

From the 1990s on, Hauer moved into low-budget films, and supporting roles in major films like Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992), Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002), Batman Begins (2005), Sin City (2005) and The Rite (2011). Hauer also became well known for his work in commercials. Towards the end of his career, he made a return to Dutch cinema, and won the 2012 Rembrandt Award for Best Actor in recognition of his lead role in The Heineken Kidnapping (2011).

Hauer supported environmentalist causes and was a member of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. He also founded the Rutger Hauer Starfish Association, an AIDS awareness organisation. He was made a knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion in 2013.

Richard Dean Anderson

Richard Dean Anderson (born 23 January 1950) is a retired American actor and producer. He began his television career in 1976, playing Jeff Webber in the American soap opera series General Hospital, and then rose to prominence as the lead actor in the television series MacGyver (1985-1992). He later appeared in films such as Through the Eyes of a Killer (1992), Pandora’s Clock (1996), and Firehouse (1997).

In 1997, Anderson returned to television as the lead actor of the series Stargate SG-1, a spin-off of the 1994 film Stargate, replacing actor Kurt Russell. He played the lead from 1997 to 2005 and had a recurring role from 2005 to 2007. Since 1997, he has starred in only one film: Stargate: Continuum, released in 2008 as a sequel film after the Stargate SG-1 film The Ark of Truth. He appeared in the follow-up Stargate spin-off series Stargate: Atlantis and Stargate: Universe (reprising his role from SG-1 as Major General and later Lieutenant General Jack O’Neill).

Hal Holbrook

Harold Rowe Holbrook Jr. (17 February 1925 to 23 January 2021) was an American actor, television director, and screenwriter. He first received critical acclaim in 1954 for a one-man stage show that he developed called Mark Twain Tonight! while studying at Denison University. He won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play in 1966 for his portrayal of Twain. He continued to perform his signature role for over 60 years, only retiring the show in 2017 due to his failing health. Throughout his career, he also won five Primetime Emmy Awards for his work on television and was nominated for an Academy Award for his work in film.

Holbrook made his film debut in Sidney Lumet’s The Group (1966). He later gained international fame for his performance as Deep Throat in the 1976 film All the President’s Men. He played Abraham Lincoln in the 1973 miniseries Lincoln and 1985 miniseries North and South. He also appeared in such films as Julia (1977), The Fog (1980), Creepshow (1982), Wall Street (1987), The Firm (1993), Hercules (1997), and Men of Honour (2000).

Holbrook’s role as Ron Franz in Sean Penn’s Into the Wild (2007) earned him both an Academy Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. In 2009, he received critical acclaim for his performance as recently retired farmer Abner Meecham in the independent film That Evening Sun. He also portrayed Francis Preston Blair in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln (2012).

In 2003, Holbrook was honoured with the National Humanities Medal by President George W. Bush.

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