• Simon Birdsey

Farewell Rip Torn and Rutger Hauer

Remembering two legends of the screen who have passed away recently



I very often use my blank boxes to pay tribute to important personalities who have recently passed away.


For a long time I have been aware of the actor Rip Torn but, looking through his filmography, I'm not sure where I would know him from. Maybe it was Airplane II, Men in Black or The Insider?


And I obviously know Rutger Hauer from Blade Runner but I wouldn't have known that he was in Batman Begins or Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.


I'm a bit of a film fan anyway and I enjoy rounding my knowledge by watching movies that I probably wouldn't normally consider and this gives me a great opportunity to do that.


Rip received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role in 'Cross Creek', but that title doesn't seem to be available online, so I'm looking for what I do have access to on demand. 'The Man Who Fell to Earth' would fit neatly with my space age theme, but the film costs £2.49 from either YouTube or Google Play and, ideally, I don't want to spend any money.


Apologies if you don't have Amazon Prime Video. The best option for me though would seem to be 'American Cowslip', which is a dark comedy about an eccentric, agoraphobic heroin addict who is obsessed with his garden. It sounds like something that I would almost certainly not have watched otherwise, which is exactly the point!



Sadly, the only movies of Rutger Hauer's that are available as part of a subscription service have poor reviews. He did say that he might have been brilliant in only two or three films though and one of those films is 'The Legend of the Holy Drinker', which is available for £3.49 on Prime Video. It's worth paying for rather than struggling through 'Gangsterdam' or 'Moving McAllister'. Unless, of course, you enjoy bad movies.


When Albert Finney died I made a point of watching 'Under the Volcano' for which he was nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award. I feel that watching somebody at their peak and noticing the legacy that they leave helps to give me a greater sense of appreciation and respect for the world around me.


I also enjoy finding out about their lives and the journey that they took. For instance, Rip Torn introduced his cousin Sissy Spacek to the entertainment business and helped her enroll in the Actors Studio. Whereas Rutger Hauer was an environmentalist and established an AIDS awareness organisation.


Thank you for the memories Rip and Rutger!



He did say that he might have been brilliant in only two or three films though and one of those films is 'The Legend of the Holy Drinker'.

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