Richard Hatch, star of Battlestar Galactica, has died aged 71, following a battle with pancreatic cancer, according to TMZ.
Born on 21 May, 1945, in Santa Monica, California, Richard Hatch settled into a life of performing early on. He started studying classical piano when he was eight years old, and knew that he wanted to become an actor before he even hit his teens. After school, he joined the Los Angeles Repertory Theatre which lead him to starring roles in Off Broadway plays and musicals.
Hatch started his career in television in 1970, when he joined the cast of daytime soap opera All My Children as Philip Brent. After a two-year stint on the show, he went on to make regular guest appearances on the likes of Cannon, Hawaii Five-O, Barnaby Jones, and The Waltons.
The actor first found his way into the hearts of many a sci-fi fan when he starred as Captain Apollo in Glen A Larson’s original 1978-1979 Battlestar Galactica series, winning a Best Actor Golden Globe for his performance in the one season that got made.
Over 25 years later, he surprised and thrilled fans by returning to the Battlestar Galactica world when the show was revived in 2004 for Syfy by Ronald D Moore. Handing the Captain Apollo torch over to Jamie Bamber, Hatch took on the role of Tom Zarek, the philosophical populist political leader from the colony of Sagittaron.
Before Moore’s take on the series, Hatch had long been a Battlestar advocate and attempted to revive the show on several occasions. He began writing tie-in novels in the 1990s, and even wrote, co-directed and executive-produced a trailer called The Second Coming with the hopes that Universal Studios would want to start work on a series that would act as a continuation of the first. For the trailer, Hatch enlisted a group of his Battlestar co-stars, including John Colicos, Terry Carter and Jack Stauffer.
Hatch, who claimed he had remortgaged his house in order to make the trailer, was disheartened when Universal announced that it was producing a remake of the series rather than a continuation, and was highly critical of the new show. However, over time Hatch developed a respect for Moore and his Battlestar Galactica series, and eventually accepted his recurring role, much to the delight of fans of the original series.
Members of Hatch’s Battlestar Galactica family, including Ronald D Moore and Edward James Olmos, have tweeted tributes to the late actor:
Richard Hatch was a good man, a gracious man, and a consummate professional. His passing is a heavy blow to the entire BSG family.
— Ronald D. Moore (@RonDMoore) February 7, 2017
.Richard Hatch you made our universe a better place We love you for it. Rest In Peace my friend @SoSayWeAll the Admiral!
— Edward James Olmos (@edwardjolmos) February 7, 2017
— Katee Sackhoff (@kateesackhoff) February 7, 2017
We lost a kind and gentle soul today. Hope you’re dancing amongst the stars now. RIP Richard pic.twitter.com/w8Ob3tRS9J
— Tricia Helfer (@trutriciahelfer) February 8, 2017
Richard touched my life in immeasurable ways. I’m profoundly honoured to have known him & called him friend. BSG Family lost a loved one.
— Aaron Douglas (@theaarondouglas) February 7, 2017
Watch Richard Hatch’s trailer for Battlestar Galactica: The Second Coming here: