Richard Hatch, who memorably played Captain Apollo in the original Battlestar Galactica film and TV show, has died at the age of 71.
Hatch’s son Paul shared news of his father’s death on the actor’s website, writing: “He died peacefully with his family and friends at his side after a battle with pancreatic cancer.”
Hatch never shied away from his Battlestar fame and in fact became its strongest advocate. He hosted conventions, wrote novels and even produced a trailer as part of a campaign to create a sequel to the original 1970s version.
This didn’t work, but he was persuaded to return to the series for the TV reboot from 2004 to 2009 as new character Tom Zarek.
Paul Hatch wrote: “In spite of significant roles in other series and motion pictures over the following decades, his connection with the original Battlestar as well as the remake created an international following among science fiction fans. While continuing his acting career Richard was a popular figure at comic book conventions, science fiction forums and even hosted his own cruise ship events.”
A long career in film and TV also included roles in Streets of San Francisco, Baywatch and Dynasty.
Battlestar Galactica’s actors and creators from across the decades have paid tribute to their star.
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
— Kurt Yaeger (@kurtyaeger) February 8, 2017
My heart is breaking.Thank you for being a wonderful friend and teacher both in front of and behind the camera. RIP RichardHatch #SSWA ❤️
— Leah Cairns (@LeahCairns) February 7, 2017
Hatch will return to screens once more as he appears in the 2017 movie Diminuendo, which is written and directed by Bryn Pryor and stars Chloe Dykstra, Leah Cairns, Gigi Edgley and Walter Koenig.
Pryor said the sci-fi drama would showcase Hatch’s “incredible talent in a way that had never been seen”.
He added: “Richard knew he wasn’t going to be around to see the finished film, but we were able to arrange for him to view the final cut, and I’m proud we could do that. It was very important for him to see it.”