Sad news for Sci-fi fans; Richard Hatch, who played Captain Apollo in the original 1978 series Battlestar Galactica passed away this Tuesday afternoon, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He died in his home after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Hatch was 71 years old.
Although he is predominantly known for his television work, Hatch began his career in 1960 in theatre and starred in several off-broadway plays in late sixties.
He began his work in television in 1970, where he stared as Phillip Brent on the soap All My Children, a role he played for two years. He starred in a variety of shows throughout the 70s and 80s, many of them cult favorites, including Hawaii Five-O, The Waltons,Chips, Fantasy Island, Dynasty,T.J. Hooker, Baywatch, MacGyver, and last but not least, Barnaby Jones. He also starred in several made-for-tv movies in the 70s like The Hatfields and The McCoys.
Despite his numerous television appearances, he made a name for himself through his work on the original Battlestar Galactica, which unfortunately, only aired from 1978 to 1979. His role on the series garnered him a golden globe nomination.
Since it came out only a year after audiences experienced the intensity and ingenuity of Star Wars: A New Hope, it did have the misfortune of coming off as a rip-off, though it had been conceived of in the 1960s. and was only made because of the massive hype surrounding Star Wars. In defense of Battlestar, Star Wars has a monopoly on space sagas, in the same way Lord of The Rings has a monopoly on warrior elves and hairy hobbits. It ruined the space market for many a hopeful writer.
The series was created by Glen A. Larson, who’s mormon theology loosely helped develop the story. It’s based on the journey of the last of the humans gathered from twelve colonies that have been destroyed by vicious alien/androids. They are desperately trying to make it to the promised planet, the legendary earth.
Although the original Battlestar didn’t air for long, Richard Hatch penned several novels that expanded on the universe. The series was revived in 2004 and Hatch played Tom Zarek, a reformed political terrorist who joins the new colony.
Hatch was beloved and respected by numerous coworkers, many who have taken to twitter to express their condolences and gracious memories of the actor.
‘ [He] was a good man, a gracious man, and a consummate professional…His passing is a heavy blow to the entire ‘BSG’ family.’
Among other actors who paid their tribute was Edward J Olmos, who played Admiral Armada, tweeted,
‘Richard Hatch you made our universe a better place. We love you for it. Rest In Peace my friend @SoSayWeAll the Admiral!’
‘So Say We All’ is a blessing within the Battlestar Galactica world. He is survived by his son and brother, Paul Hatch and John Hatch.
— Katee Sackhoff (@kateesackhoff) February 7, 2017
— Bear McCreary (@bearmccreary) February 7, 2017