2017 TV Countdown #1: Fandom Loses Richard Hatch, Star of Battlestar Galactica

2017 saw far too many individuals leave us from the entertainment industry; they ranged from Jim Nabors to Martin Landau, from Sam Shepard to Nelson Ellis and Bill Paxton. However one in particular who impacted fans from multiple generations was Richard Hatch. News emerged that the stomach pains which impacted him at 2016's Dragon Con wound up to be pancreatic cancer. Never wanting to be a burden to anyone, he kept his condition close to the chest until very near to the end.


2017 TV Countdown #1: Fandom Loses Richard Hatch, Star of Battlestar Galactica



In the year since his passing, friends and fans have held a number of gatherings to celebrate his memory and the spirit which he championed in the community over the decades. His mantra was always if you have a passion, especially if it's to be creative (be it in acting, art, or something else), let nothing stop you from chasing that dream.

Original Headline: Richard Hatch, Star Of Battlestar Galactica, Dies At 71

Golden Globe nominated actor Richard Hatch, whose career spanned nearly a half-century, today passed into eternity while surrounded by family and friends after an extended illness. Best known as Captain Apollo in the 1978 original Battlestar Galactica, and then as Tom Zarek in the 2003 re-imagined version, His career started with a stint on All My Children in 1971 as Philip Brent, and put in appearances on series ranging from Hawaii Five-O to The Streets of San Franciscoto Baywatch. In more recent years Richard has been featured in a range of independent productions.

In the decades after the original Battlestar Galactica, he had gone on to write a number of novels in the same universe and developed a short film, Battlestar Galactica: The Second Coming. Original BSG series actors John Colicos (Baltar), Terry Carter (Col. Tigh) and Jack Stauffer (Bojay) appeared in the trailer alongside Hatch. His various projects were an effort to keep the interest around the franchise alive and to try to convince Universal to revisit the series.

Richard hadn't intended to wind up as an actor, he'd often said that it wasn't something that had occurred to him because he was too shy and insecure. His dream before he discovered the stage was to become an Olympic pole vaulter. When an English class was overbooked in college, he wound up enrolling in an oral interpretation class instead. "It turned out to be my worst nightmare, because I had to get up in front of people and read." he says, laughing. "I found myself flunking the course because I would choke up. I could hardly open my mouth." Over time he managed to overcome his fears, and now helps new actors by offering acting workshops in the Los Angeles area as well as during his annual convention circuit. His classes were lauded for their ability to bring new actors out of their shells, and for helping tune skills of more experienced performers. One reviewer commented about Richard and his workshop:

Richard Hatch is a man of many gifts, not the least of which is uncanny insight into an actor's true potential and how we get in our own way and block that potential. Richard is both very tough and very compassionate. In just six months of working together, Richard has coaxed performances out of me that I never would have dreamed possible.

Even though it'd now been nearly eight years since the ending of the re-imagined Galactica series, he had continued to host annual Battlestar Galactica panels at the San Diego Comic-Con and DragonCon, where fans would listen to his stories of the series, and of his continued enthusiasm and encouragement for its future.

Richard is survived by a son, Paul.

So say we all.

Follow up reactions by castmates and other industry veterans can be read here.

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About Bill Watters

Games programmer by day, geek culture and fandom writer by night. You'll find me writing most often about tv and movies with a healthy side dose of the goings-on around the convention and fandom scene.
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