Battlestar Galactica's Apollo, star Richard Hatch, dies
Original Battlestar Galactica cast member Richard Hatch has died at age 71.
The TV legend and science fiction favourite passed away after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, according to TMZ.
Hatch holds a very important place in the history of sci-fi for his involvement in both the original campy '70s-era Battlestar Galactica and its more serious critically-acclaimed reboot from writer Ronald D Moore.
As a fresh-faced young actor, he was the star of the original Battlestar Galactica (along with Lorne Greene) as the heroic Viper pilot Captain Apollo.
Since the series was originally commissioned to capitalise on the Star Wars phenomenon, many fans have often compared Apollo and brash cohort Starbuck (Dirk Benedict) to Luke Skywalker and Han Solo.
When Battlestar Galactica was radically reinvented on Syfy a quarter of a century later by Ronald D Moore, Hatch initially very publicly opposed the reboot.
Among the many changes Moore made to the Battlestar mythology was reframing Apollo (Jamie Bamber) and a female Starbuck (Katee Sackhoff) as star-crossed lovers torn apart by war against the Cylons.
However, the two sides eventually made peace and Hatch actually joined the cast of the new Battlestar Galactica - not as a hero but as the manipulative terrorist-turned-rebel leader Tom Zarek.
(The two Apollos - Jamie Bamber and Richard Hatch)
Once the new Battlestar Galactica concluded, Hatch was often supportive of fan campaigns to reboot or continue the franchise on the big screen.
"I don't think this story has been fully explored," Hatch told Digital Spy in 2014. "It's a never-ending plethora of dramatic possibilities.
"There's a vast dramatic topography to explore and the audience can't get enough - they're hungry for more."
He's being remembered as a "good" and "gracious" man by Battlestar Galactica showrunner Ronald D Moore, who tweeted: "His passing is a heavy blow to the entire BSG family."
Also paying tribute was Battlestar Galactica's fearless (on-screen) leader Edward James Olmos: "Richard Hatch you made our universe a better place We love you for it. Rest In Peace my friend @SoSayWeAll the Admiral!"
Throughout his long career, Hatch starred in All My Children and The Streets of San Francisco. He also memorably appeared in Santa Barbara, The Love Boat and Dynasty.
Below, we include tributes to the late, great Richard Hatch (warning: NSFW tweets below):
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
.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
Goodbye my friend. See you on the other side. Fuck this hurts. #SoSayWeAll pic.twitter.com/c3nFy0zs4f
- Katee Sackhoff (@kateesackhoff) February 7, 2017
My heart is breaking.Thank you for being a wonderful friend and teacher both in front of and behind the camera. RIP RichardHatch #SSWA ❤️
- Leah Cairns (@LeahCairns) February 7, 2017
R.I.P Richard Hatch
Blessed to hang with him once "Find reasons to say YES in life , it leads to more opportunity "RH pic.twitter.com/k2xM7u5FDm
- Karl Urban (@KarlUrban) February 7, 2017
Richard Hatch was a dear friend, a dear soul + an advocate for everyone he met. my heart hurts, he will be missed by many. so say we all.
- Nicki Clyne (@nickiclyne) February 7, 2017
So sorry to hear the news of Battlestar's Richard Hatch. A terrible loss.
- Jane Espenson (@JaneEspenson) February 7, 2017
I will have more to say about Richard Hatch and what he meant to my life and career. But for now, I'm still processing all this...
- Bear McCreary (@bearmccreary) February 7, 2017
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