"The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long - and you have burned so very, very brightly, Roy. Look at you: you're the Prodigal Son; you're quite a prize! Revel in your time." - Eldon Tyrell to Roy Batty, his last words.
Little is known of Tyrell's personal life. Due to Blade Runner Rick Deckard's access to the information associated with the prototype Nexus-7 Rachael, Tyrell is known to have a niece because he had Rachael implanted with memories that were originally his niece's.
Tyrell is a master chess player, having lost to J.F. Sebastian only twice and the second time, he lost because Batty told Sebastian what moves to make. He also owns an owl, used as a symbol of wisdom, however as the owl is artificial is can be seen as showing that Tyrell has "false wisdom".
Events of 2019
Meeting with Blade Runners
Tyrell met with Deckard in 2019, the latter arriving at the Tyrell Corporation after ordered by Captain Bryant to perform a Voight-Kampff empathy test on a Nexus-6. This was to allow Deckard to better grasp the situation with replicant Roy Batty's renegade group and how they work. Tyrell wished to see a negative test result of the empathy test before he allowed Deckard to test a replicant. Tyrell suggests that his assistant Rachael be used, only for Deckard to discover that Rachael is an experimental replicant with memory implants making her harder to detect as not human.
McCoy, Kolvig, and Clovis
Tyrell met with rookie Blade Runner Ray McCoy shortly after meeting with Deckard and spoke briefly with him about the death of one of his senior Gravity Lab technicians, but he provides little useful information. McCoy can miss this meeting entirely if he does not return to Lieutenant Guzza and ask him to set up a meeting with Tyrell after investigating the Eisenduller crime scene.
It also reveals that just hours before his death at Batty's hands, he narrowly survived a previous confrontation with a Nexus-6 named Clovis who, unlike Batty, does not ask for more life from Tyrell himself, but rather for the DNA data on the Nexus 6 in the hope of using it to find a way to prolong his lifespan himself without Tyrell's involvement. When Tyrell insists the 4 year lifespan is unalterable, Clovis moves to shoot him, but is thwarted by Tyrell's security team.
Tyrell is also revealed to be attempting to convince Governor Kolvig to allow replicants to work on Earth as slave labor cleaning up the kipple that surrounds Los Angeles, but the governor is killed by Clovis as the two discuss plans for implementation. This is not unlike reclusive corporate head Niander Wallace's own plan of developing replicants for use in reclaiming uninhabitable land.
Tyrell's reason for implementing memory implantation is that memories would provide a "cushion" for the replicant's emotional development and subsequently make them easier to control. He refers to replicants as his children, part of his metaphorical comparison to God as he demonstrates the power to create life, block the light of the sun as he wishes it. Tyrell displays vast knowledge and lives in a lofty golden palace, where he is supreme ruler. Batty is his Lucifer, his most perfect creation rising up to challenge and then seeking to destroy his creator.
Indeed, all rogue replicants are presented as like fallen angels: Faster, stronger and on the whole more intelligent beings than humans who can nevertheless walk among them. Replicants are portrayed as turning from the "Wisdom" of their creator and into rebellion led by the greatest of them.
The Prodigal Son Brings Death
Roy Batty inlong distance chess with J.F. Sebastian, something Roy Batty exploits to get Tyrell to allow Sebastian to enter his living quarters, unaware that Batty is there in the lift with Sebastian. Tyrell remains calm when confronted by Roy and explains that altering DNA is fatal in all circumstances. He attempts to comfort Roy referring to him as the prodigal son and reminding him "The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long". This does little to comfort Batty who kisses Tyrell and then proceeds to crush his skull, killing him as a horrified Sebastian looks on. His body along with Sebastian's is found by the police shortly after.
Behind the Scenes
It was originally intended that the Tyrell murdered by Batty would be revealed to be a replicant, and as a result Batty would head up to the next floor, where he would discover the real Tyrell in cryogenic suspension. Sebastian would then explain that an incurable disease struck Tyrell, who had himself frozen until a cure is found. Subsequently Batty would demand that Sebastian awaken him. Two different versions exist with regard to what would have happened next.
In the first, Sebastian would break down and admit that he made an error years earlier and resulted in Tyrell's death and in a rage, Batty kills him. In the second Sebastian reveals that years before (estimated as 2013) a blackout struck the city and during the approximately forty-five minutes the power was out, Tyrell's life support failed and he died. Again Batty is struck by despair and feeling there is no hope, he kills Sebastian much as he did in the finished film.