Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Richard Hatch Passes On

Richard Hatch, best known for playing Captain Apollo on the Seventies science fiction series Battlestar Galactica, died yesterday, February 7 2017, at the age of 71. The cause was pancreatic cancer.

Richard Hatch was born on May 21 1945 in Santa Monica, California. He began his acting career at the Los Angeles Repertory Theatre. He then acted on stage in Chicago and Off-Broadway in New York City. He made his television debut in 1971 in an episode of All My Children. He guest starred on such shows as Alias Smith and Jones, Room 222, The Sixth Sense, Kung Fu, Barnaby Jones, Medical Centre, The Rookies, Hawaii Five-O, and The Waltons before being cast as Inspector Dan Robbins on the final season of The Streets of San Francisco. Once The Streets of San Francisco ended he had a recurring role on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman for one season. He went from Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman  straight to playing Captain Apollo on Battlestar Galactica. While Battlestar Galactica lasted only one season, it developed a cult following that survives to this day. Mr. Hatch maintained a passion for the show for the rest of his life. He appeared in the film Living Legend: The King of Rock and Roll (1980).

In the Eighties Richard Hatch appeared in such films as Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen (1981), Prisoners of the Lost Universe (1983), Heated Vengeance (1985), Last Platoon (1988), Party Line (1988), Ghetto Blaster (1989), and Delta Force Commando II: Priority Red One (1990). On television he had a brief, recurring role on Dynasty. Later in the decade he had a recurring role on the soap opera Santa Barbara. He guest starred on such shows as Fantasy Island; Murder, She Wrote; T. J. Hooker; The Love Boat; Hotel; and Jake and the Fatman.

In the Nineties he produced a television presentation film entitled Battlestar Galactica: The Second Coming with the goal of reviving the series (its continuity would have ignored the much reviled Galactica 1980, in which Mr. Hatch was not involved). The project did not move forward and instead Universal went with Ronald D. Moore's reboot of the original series in 2004. Richard Hatch guest starred on Baywatch and appeared in the movies Renaissance (1994) and Iron Thunder (1998).

In the Naughts Richard Hatch had a recurring role on the reboot of Battlestar Galactica. He guest starred on The Hunted. He appeared in such films as Big Shots (2001), The Ghost (2001), Unseen Evil (2001), The Rain Makers (2005), InAlienable (2008), and War of Heaven (2010).

In the Teens Mr. Hatch appeared in the films The Little Match Makers (2011), Dead by Friday (2012), Season of Darkness (2012), Dead Reckoning (2013), and Cowboys & Engines (2015). He had a regular role on the web series The Silicon Assassin Project and  guest starred on the web series The Guild. 

Richard Hatch also wrote seven novels set in the Battlestar Galactica universe (the original series, not the reboot).

Richard Hatch will probably always be remembered best as Apollo on Battlestar Galactica, but many will remember him as simply a nice guy. I have known several people who had the honour of meeting him, and every one of them have remarked on his kindness, his graciousness, and his helpfulness. He was known for being very encouraging to both fans and fellow creative types with regards to their various projects. Ultimately he was a warm, friendly, truly nice fellow who died much too young.

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