Actor Richard Hatch has died at the age of 71, a representative for the actor told the Associated Press.
The longtime TV actor was best known for his role as Captain Apollo on the original 1978 series Battlestar Galactica and the role earned him a Golden Globe nomination. Hatch also had a recurring role in the 2003 Syfy version playing Tom Zarek. Bleeding Cool first reported the news.
Hatch’s son, Paul, was by his side when he died Tuesday after a battle with pancreatic cancer, manager Michael Kaliski told the AP.
Filmmaker Alec Peters from Axanar Productions, which produced the fan-made Prelude to Axanar starring Hatch, wrote about Hatch’s illness in a Facebook post on Tuesday. “Three weeks ago I found out he had stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer,” he wrote. “We knew he had little time left, but this is quite more sudden than we thought. Richard was in good spirits when I visited him two weeks ago. He knew his time was short, but was comforted by the fact that his son would be taken care of.”
Hatch’s career was launched with a role on All My Children in 1971. His guest star filmography then reads like an iconic list of ’70s and ’80s favorites: Fantasy Island, CHiPs, Murder She Wrote, Dynasty, T.J. Hooker, The Love Boat, MacGyver, and Baywatch.
The actor also wrote novels set in the BSG universe and for years lobbied to revive the franchise with a series that was more in the vein of the ’78 original.
In a 2008 interview, Hatch talked about how he never expected the success he enjoyed as an actor. “I was very shy and very insecure, and acting, actually, was a way for me to overcome my shyness and overcome maybe some of those emotional places where I was repressed and cut off — because I was embarrassed and held everything inside,” Hatch said. “Acting forces you to get it out, forces you to express those emotions and feelings. I didn’t look at acting as a way to lead me to fame and fortune; I looked at it as a way to overcome some of my life issues. As I went through the acting process and teaching process in classes, it slowly evolved into a profession, and I never expected it to. That was a big surprise to me that I ever winded up on a television screen or a movie screen.”
Tweeted BSG showrunner Ron Moore:
And costars Katee Sackhoff and Edward James Olmos: