Richard Hatch, ‘Battlestar Galactica’ Actor, Dies at 71

Richard Hatch Dead Obit Battlestar Galactica
ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images

Richard Hatch, star of the original “Battlestar Galactica” and the Syfy remake, died on Tuesday after a battle with pancreatic cancer, his manger confirmed to Variety. He was 71.

Hatch died around 1:30 p.m. at his home in Santa Clarita, Calif., with his son Paul by his side.

“I will always remember him fondly for his inspiring sense of youthful wonder, his boundless passion for creative expression, and his huge, kind heart,” his manager Michael Kaliski told Variety.

Hatch was best known for playing Captain Apollo in the original “Battlestar Galactica” series, which aired from 1978-79, a role that earned him a Golden Globe nomination for best actor in a television series – drama. He portrayed a different character, Tom Zarek, in the 2003 reimagined series.

After beginning his career Off Broadway, Hatch’s acting career took off after landing a role on the soap opera “All My Children” in 1971. His additional TV credits include guest roles in a number of ’70s and ’80s favorites, including “CHiPs,” “Fantasy Island,” “Dynasty,” “Murder She Wrote,” “The Love Boat,” “T.J. Hooker,” “Baywatch,” and “MacGyver.” He also wrote five original “Battlestar” novels and became a popular fixture at Comic Book and sci-fi events for fans.

“Battlestar Galactica” colleagues and friends paid tribute to the actor Tuesday afternoon on social media.

“Richard Hatch was a good man, a gracious man, and a consummate professional,” executive producer Ronald D. Moore tweeted. “His passing is a heavy blow to the entire ‘BSG’ family.”

Edward J. Olmos, who played Admiral Adama, also tweeted his condolences, “Richard Hatch you made our universe a better place. We love you for it. Rest In Peace my friend @SoSayWeAll the Admiral!”

Bear McCreary, the composer on the show, wrote: “I share tragic news with a heavy heart. Richard Hatch is no longer with us. Goodbye Tom Zarek / Apollo #SoSayWeAll.”

Added Katee Sackhoff, who played Starbuck, “Goodbye my friend. See you on the other side. F— this hurts. #SoSayWeAll

“So say we all” is an affirmation in the “Battlestar” community, akin to “amen.”

Hatch is survived by his son Paul and a brother, John.

Celebrities Who Died in 2017

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  1. Zeta Zeta says:

    “…his manger confirmed…” His manger? like “away in a manger”? lol

  2. leo zinn says:

    he was a good man and actor. r.i.p apollo

  3. Sam Crosbie says:

    I never got to meet Mr. Hatch, and for that, i am truly sorry. I met Herb Jefferson Jr. at a local sci-fi convention, and in talking for a couple hours, learned a lot about Mr. hatch, that truly showed how loved he was by entire cast of the series. RIP, Captain Apollo. You are already missed

  4. Thomas H says:

    I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Hatch at a Sci-Fi convention in San Francisco in the late ’90s. He was at a table signing autographs but there was no line at the time so we had a nice conversation about Battlestar Galactica and other shows. He was a very nice fellow and I feel saddened to hear of his passing. RIP my friend.

  5. MaxineClarise says:

    RIchard had a beautiful medial cleft and his blue eyes were the type that looked through you much like Elizabeth Taylor. A very handsome man and should have been a much bigger actor.

  6. ShirleyM says:

    Hatch also starred in The Streets of San Francisco

  7. Variety forgot to mention Hatch played Jan Berry of Jan & Dean singing duo in the CBS movie of The Week, 1978 “Deadman’s Curve”

  8. Trina Parks says:

    So very sorry to hear of Richard’s passing. I first meet Richard in the early 2000’s. We were invited
    to England, for the special Celebrity autograph show, for the Si-Fi, ‘STAR WARS’, ‘BATTLESTAR’, ‘JAMES BOND’ Women & 007-George Lazenby. We all stayed at the same hotel so we all rode together, in the limo, from the airport. Richard was so friendly speaking with me as if we were
    good friends. After the show, Richard & some of us went to the dining room something to eat.
    Since then, for many Comic Con autograph shows in San Diego, Richard and I have sighed autographs near each other. Still and always the friendly and kind man. Blessings to his family.

  9. John says:

    In interviews he came off like a really nice person and when I was a kid Battlestar was one of favorite things in the works. I also remember seeing him in stuff like the biopic about Jan and Dean. Rest In Peace

  10. Nanny Mo says:

    RIP, I enjoyed your talents over the years.

  11. Fun time young memories long ago! Back then he would come to Huntington Marina (school only 1 year old) or was it West High Torrance, looking for his girlfriend. I would be looking for his brother…my 2nd crush. Met at Darby Park lived near Inglewood, then graduating from Huntington Beach.

  12. Michelle says:

    I had the biggest crush on him. Rest in light and love.

  13. JOE S HILL says:

    A Great loss! Richard Hatch also starred in the final season of ABC-TV’s “THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO” as “Inspector Dan Robbins” who replaced series’ star Michael Douglas as “Inspector Steve Keller” in the two part final season opener,”The Thrill Killers” in the 1976-77 TV season before Universal Television’s original “BATTLESTAR GALACTICA” TV series came on the scene. may this gifted actor from our time period rest in peace-he will be seriously missed!

    • Steve says:

      I remember him from SoSF too. Kind of a thankless job to replace Michael Douglas, but he held go end up. More Importantly, it seems like he was a good guy who inspired love in his friends. It’s always sad to think lose someone like that. Rest In Peace, good sir.

  14. dean j briggs says:

    I met Richard Hatch and Dirk Benedict at the Rhode Island Comic Con a few years ago and both of these men were kind and wonderful people. Although, I believe that their careers spanned much longer than reported at “nearly a decade”….. Richard Hatch will forever be remembered for his role as APOLLO on the original tv series, Battlestar Galactica. Thank you for the great memories. Rest in peace.

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