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A TV star whose career sent him into fictional outer space not just once, but twice, Richard Hatch was best known for playing a part in both iterations of the classic sci-fi series Battlestar Galactica. Sadly, the actor and author passed away on Tuesday, February 7, at the age of 71.
Details on just how Richard Hatch died haven't been reported yet. What's known at this point is that he'd suffered an extended period due to some illness, according to Bleeding Cool, and that he was surrounded by loved ones when he passed.
Born May 21, 1945, Richard Hatch seemed destined for stardom, entering the stage acting world as a young adult and later jumping into TV work with roles on shows like All My Children, Kung Fu and Hawaii Five-0, to name a few. His first big break came in 1977 when he joined the crime drama The Streets of San Francisco during its final season, serving as a replacement for Michael Douglas, who'd left the show after four seasons. This led to a short stint on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, which then led him to Battlestar Galactica.
In 1978, Glen A. Larson created Battlestar Galactica for ABC, with Richard Hatch earning a Golden Globe nomination as Captain Apollo, starring alongside Dirk Benedict, Lorne Greene, John Colicos and more. Unfortunately, the sci-fi drama only lasted a single season, as ABC cancelled it due to lowered ratings resulting from scheduling shifts. Hatch kept the mojo alive for BSG during the 1980s and 1990s, though, penning tie-in novels for the franchise. His biggest attempt to sway the rights-holders at Universal Studios came when he rounded up a chunk of money and some former co-stars to produce a prototype pilot called The Second Coming that was meant to serve as a launchpad for a brand new Battlestar Galactica series. And though he received much acclaim from fans when showing clips and trailers at conventions, Universal never bit.
Luckily, when Syfy moved forward with its Battlestar Galactica reboot in 2004, Richard Hatch was brought back to the franchise, though in a completely different role. For all four seasons, Hatch played the politically motivated terrorist Tom Zarek, though it was up to viewers to judge whether he was actually a villain or not. Below, you can see his reboot co-star Edward James Olmos reacting to the news of Hatch's death.
No stranger to the fan convention circuit, Richard Hatch also took part in many other genre projects, and perhaps the most notable of those was the fairly famous and controversial Star Trek fan film Prelude to Axanar as a Klingon commander. He also worked with Star Trek and Babylon 5 vet Walter Koenig on multiple projects, including the 2008 film InAlienable and the short film Cowboys & Engines.
We here at CinemaBlend send our thoughts and condolences to Richard Hatch's family and friends in their time of mourning. It seems like a good night for streaming Battlestar Galactica. So say we all!