It was sadly announced yesterday that Battlestar Galactica actor Richard Hatch passed away after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 71 years old.
Hatch began his career on the soap opera All My Children and later joined on The Streets of San Francisco after Michael Douglas left the show. His biggest role, however, came in 1978 as ace pilot Apollo in Battlestar Galactica. The series was about the exodus of humanity after the Cylons, a race of robots, attacked humanity to near extinction, leading them to find the mythical planet Earth for refuge. It only ran for one season, but gained a large cult following after an edited cut of the pilot hit theaters and even spawned the short-lived sequel series Galactica 1980.
Unlike most actors attached to an iconic role, Hatch never got tired of being Apollo or the Galactica fandom. Throughout his career he wrote books based in the Battlestar Galactica universe and routinely tried to revive the franchise with a direct sequel (which ignored Galactica 1980) called Battlestar Galactica: The Second Coming.
Rather than use Hatch’s revived vision, Universal instead opted to do a full remake by Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine producer Ronald D. Moore. Beginning in 2003, Moore’s Battlestar Galactica reimagined the series as a grittier story with touches of realism that focused on themes of war, survival and politics. Hatch got a recurring role on the reimagined series as Tom Zarek, a political idealist/terrorist who had a compelling and at times antagonistic relationship with Jamie Bamber’s Apollo. Despite his standing as a semi-villain, Zarek was regarded as a fan-favourite character.
Dirk Benedict, the original Starbuck, and several of his cast members from the reimagined series offered their condolences on Twitter.
All of us at DBC are devastated. Our thoughts and prayers are with Richard's family, friends, and fans. https://t.co/4yyuePPOEM
— DirkBenedictCentral (@DBCdotCOM) February 7, 2017
— Katee Sackhoff (@kateesackhoff) February 7, 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
.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
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
— Alessandro Juliani (@gajemsjuliani) February 8, 2017
I'm sorry Richard Hatch I'm so sorry and sad that you are gone. This simply does not compute . You were a force . A light . A Prince. So Sad
— Mary McDonnell (@MaryMcDonnell10) February 8, 2017
The Original Apollo -a true gem of a man, so kind, funny & so smart -we are missing you Richard Hatch – rest in peace. Flights of angels…
— James Callis (@jamescallis) February 8, 2017
Richard Hatch. You leave a huge hole in our BSG family which we will never fill and never try to. #ThankYouCaptainApollo
— Jamie Bamber (@ImJamieBamber) February 8, 2017
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
— Bear McCreary (@bearmccreary) February 8, 2017
Let us know some of your favourite roles of Hatch’s or Apollo/Zarek moments below.