Widely considered as one of the best films of all time, Blade Runner hit the world like a sucker punch of awesomeness. Seen by generations of people in the years since, if you are a film lover, then it is pretty much a prerequisite viewing if you want to talk about the best sci-fi films with any credibility. Given a sequel that is coming out in 2017, thirty-five years after the first one was released, that fact has made us reflect once again on the original film. A movie that starred a spectacular cast with many notable personalities and stars, there are few people that have closely followed the careers of all the people that performed on screen in it. Realizing that inspired us to put together this list of looking at what the cast and crew of the original movie look like today.
In order for someone to be up for consideration for inclusion on this list, they first and foremost must be a cast or major crew member of the 1982 neo-noir science-fiction classic film Blade Runner. Next, they need to have played at least a memorable part in it since we’re not interested in looking at what an extra in the background has been up to. As for our efforts to see what they look like today and what they are up to, it should be noted that we have no personal relationships with anyone involved. Due to that fact, we’re depending on public records of what they are up to now in order to fill out this information. Additionally, in the case of actors that are no longer with us but lived many years beyond when this movie was filmed, we went with the most recent information.
15. Hampton Fancher
One of two men who are credited with writing the script for Blade Runner, you may not recognize Hampton Fancher’s face, but if you love this movie like we do, then his work means a lot to you. Someone who is very passionate about trying to see Phillip K. Dick’s story that inspired the film Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? to be brought to the big screen, he even tried to option it for himself. Once he found out that someone else already owned the rights, however, he convinced them to let him craft the film’s framing which he did up until another writer was brought in after creative differences. Seen in this image that was taken at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con, he looks like the perfect personification of the older artist still doing his thing, if you ask us.
14. Morgan Paull
An actor that unfortunately is no longer with us, Morgan Paull passed away in 2012 much to the dismay of his friends and family, as well as those that were aware of his contributions to pop culture. Making his film debut as a Captain in the movie Patton which came out in 1970, he would continue acting for more than twenty-five years and has appeared in films like Uncle Sam, Out Cold, The Swarm, and Norma Rae. Appearing in Blade Runner as Dave Holden, he plays an employee of Tyrell Corporation who tests prospective employees to make sure that they aren’t replicants trying to infiltrate it for the own reasons. Looking like a very happy person in this image of him from the final years of his life that was uploaded on his personal website, he seems like he would have been lovely to be around.
13. Kevin Thompson
A little person who has been a regular part of the acting world since the year 1981, Kevin Thompson has made several notable appearances in our media even though you may not recognize him that much. Often cast in roles that saw him under elaborate costumes or heavy makeup, like many actors his size who found success in the eighties and nineties did, sometimes his roles aren’t obvious but are pivotal. In fact, he acted in unheralded roles for movies including the Star Wars franchise as an Ewok, Weird Science as a Blob Operator, and The Garbage Pail Kids Movie as Ali Gator to name only a few examples. Of course, the biggest Blade Runner fans will also know that it was him who played Bear, a replicant that was made up to look like a stuffed animal in the film. Seen in his own flesh much more often these days, we were surprised to see just how buttoned up he looks in this recent image of him.
12. William Sanderson
Someone who has appeared in an extremely long list of movies and shows, William Sanderson has turned heads in a number of memorable roles. Most famous for his parts in television shows like True Blood, Deadwood, and Newhart among others, over the years, there have been millions of people that anticipated seeing him act from week to week. Cast as a genetic designer named J.F. Sebastian in Blade Runner, of all the humans in the movie, he could most relate to the replicants because he had a disease that made him age rapidly too. However, that is proof positive of his acting skills since that couldn’t be further from the truth for him since he in his seventies now, but you’d never know it by looking at him.
11. Brion James
An established actor who rose to a certain level of prominence in the eighties, we were very surprised while working on this list to learn that Brion James died in the year 1999. Seemingly born to be the underling muscle of movie bad guys, he played that part to perfection in movies including the 48 Hrs films, Red Heat, The Player, The Fifth Element, as well as Tango & Cash. Standing at six foot three in real life, he struck an imposing pose which was of huge importance when it came to his role in Blade Runner. Cast as Leon Kowalski, a replicant and friend of the movie’s main antagonist, he was a lesser model that resorted to violence quickly instead of trying to figure out a way to solve a problem. Still the spitting image of the man we first became aware of in the early eighties when he died, we just wish he could have beaten people up on film for many more years.
10. Emmet Walsh
A unique presence on the screen almost every time we saw him, M. Emmet Walsh was able to play slimy characters as skillfully as almost anyone we can think of as well as being lovable in other roles. Most memorable for his part in films like Blood Simple, The Jerk, The Iron Giant, Fletch, Critters, as well as Harry and the Hendersons to name only a sampling, he always seemed to be working. Cast as Harry Bryant in Blade Runner, it could be argued that he was the most despicable figure in the film since he was charged with destroying replicants but also saw everyday people as expendable. Aging a great deal in the thirty-five years since he played that part, the last time we saw him, he’d transformed into an older man in the twilight of his life.
9. Joe Turkel
There are a select few actors out there that will always be remembered for playing a single role even though they weren’t playing the lead character, and Joe Turkel is one of them. Tapped to play the bartender in Stanley Kubrick’s classic film The Shining, the movie belonged to Jack Nicholson but his contributions to it are immense too. Also able to bring Dr. Eldon Tyrell to life in Blade Runner, it was another pivotal role since he is the genius that created the replicants, setting off all of the events in the film as a result. These days, the spitting image of what we imagined he might look like, it amazes us that the last time we saw him, he was even wearing a pair of glasses that are very similar to the ones he had on in this film.
8. James Hong
Another actor whose face you will likely recognize the second you see an image of him but whose name is likely a mystery still, James Hong has helped create many fantastic characters over the years. A memorable part of movies like Big Trouble in Little China, The Golden Child, Wayne’s World 2, Mulan, as well as Tango & Cash, he always brings a lot of character to the roles he gets. The person that played Hannibal Chew in Blade Runner, his character was employed by the Tyrell Corporation and created the eyes replicants used for them. Aging shockingly little since he played that part, the only real way that he looks any different to us is that there are a few more wrinkles on his face.
7. Ridley Scott
Without a doubt one of the most powerful directors of the last several decades, Ridley Scott became a big deal in the late seventies and still wields enough power to get his projects made today. Able to prove his abilities again and again over the years, he was the man behind movies like Alien, Gladiator, American Gangster, Prometheus, and The Martian among others. Also an accomplished producer, the list of films with his fingerprints on them is extensive, including the upcoming movie Blade Runner 2049. Of course, he’s a part of this list because he was the man in the director’s chair when Blade Runner was filmed. For us, it seems like it is hard to overstate how important he was to the movie’s success. Seemingly every bit as passionate about his craft today as he was when he started out in the industry, there is no doubt that his face has aged when looking at him but his energy doesn’t seem to have been fazed.
6. Joanna Cassidy
Somebody who deserves to be among the most famous actors of her generation based on the skills she has shown herself to have, Joanna Cassidy isn’t what we’d call a celebrity but she should be. An award-winning performer who took home a Golden Globe for her work in the show Buffalo Bill, she was also nominated for Emmys and a SAG award in the past. Also memorable for movies like Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Vampire in Brooklyn, and Ghosts of Mars to name only a few, casting agents clearly know her well. Cast as the replicant Zhora or Salome in Blade Runner, her most memorable part in it is when she crashes through windows while running in an incredible sequence. Gorgeous at the time she played that part, her grey hair and wrinkles make her look very different today but she still seems to be in good shape.
5. Harrison Ford
Some may have expected us to put Harrison Ford in the top spot on this list and may be wondering why he is in the fifth spot since he played the main character in this movie. If you are one of them, let us explain that it is because of how famous he remains and the fact that it means that most still know what he looks like. The star of some of the biggest films of all time, he made his name off of the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, as well as Blade Runner, The Fugitive, Air Force One, and Regarding Henry to name only a sampling. Someone who looks quite grizzled today, he often seems like he would rather be left alone if it weren’t for the massive paycheques he earns, and he looks more and more like the angry old man each year.
4. Edward James Olmos
Probably the actor that is seen the most on this list aside from Harrison Ford, Edward James Olmos has spent much of his adult life crafting performances that meant a lot to millions of people. Best known for starring in series like Battlestar Galactica and Miami Vice, he also starred in many films including Stand and Deliver, Selena, The Road to El Dorado, and many more. Cast as Eduardo Gaff in Blade Runner, his character works for the LAPD, communicates in “Cityspeak,” and is linked to the origami that is central to the original film’s central mystery. Someone who is notable for his heavily pockmarked face, that fact gives him a great deal of gravitas as an actor as do the power and wisdom he carries himself with.
3. Rutger Hauer
An actor that seems to have been born to play antagonists on the big screen, Rutger Hauer has crafted some of the most compelling and human film villains we can think of. Especially creepy in movies like The Hitcher, Sin City, and Fatherland, when he is fearsome on film, it is magnetic to watch. Also able to be a hero, we loved him in movies like Ladyhawke, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and several more films too. Tapped to portray Roy Batty in Blade Runner, his character is the movie’s main antagonist throughout. But, by the end, the audience can really feel for his plight because of his human performance. Possessing a face that is covered in wrinkles today, he has aged incredibly which is a welcome thing when thinking about him in the context of his role in this film.
2. Sean Young
An actress that was a mainstay of the acting world in the eighties and nineties, these days, we don’t see Sean Young in major roles very often which seems like a big shame to us. Best remembered for movies like Dune, No Way Out, Wall Street, Fatal Instinct, and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, there was still only one role that first made her a star. Able to land the role of Rachael in Blade Runner in spite of being unknown at the time, it was a big deal since she was the latest model of replicant in the movie and shares the screen with Harrison Ford. Thankfully opting to age gracefully which is something that far too many former stars don’t do, she looks like someone who is happy with her station in life and has long and lovely hair to this day.
1. Daryl Hannah
An actress that once upon a time had a huge foothold in the acting world, Daryl Hannah has been a part of many movies that found a way into the hearts of millions. A star of beloved films like Splash, Roxanne, Wall Street, as well as the Grumpy Old Men and Kill Bill franchises, she has a resume that any actor would kill to have. Cast as Pris Stratton in Blade Runner, her character is called a “basic pleasure model” which makes her good at manipulating men which is something she does in service of her boyfriend Roy Batty’s plans. Unfortunately, she decided to go under the knife extensively, and these days, it is hard to even recognize that she is the same person if we hadn’t witnessed the change her face underwent in progress.
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