Richard Hatch, the Golden Globe nominee who played heroic Captain Apollo on the original 1970s Battlestar Galactica series and returned for the mid-2000s reboot, has died. He was 71.
The Associated Press confirmed Hatch's death with his manager Michael Kaliski, who said the actor died 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,” Kaliski told Variety. USA TODAY reached out to Kaliski via phone and email, but he did not respond.
The Hollywood Reporter cited tweets and Facebook posts by friends and former BSG colleagues.
Alec Peters, the writer/producer behind the Star Trek fan film Axanar, which Hatch had acted in, wrote on Facebook that Hatch had been battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
"Richard Hatch was a good man, a gracious man, and a consummate professional. His passing is a heavy blow to the entire BSG family," tweeted Ronald D. Moore, creator of the Battlestar Galactica reboot.
Edward James Olmos, who played the battleship's admiral on the reboot, tweeted a tribute: "Richard Hatch you made our universe a better place We love you for it. Rest In Peace my friend @SoSayWeAll the Admiral!"
.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
Hatch won a Golden Globe nomination for best actor in a television series for his role in the original BSG, which told the story of a ragtag fleet of starships led by a huge battleship called Galactica.
In the original, Hatch played the pilot leader of the battleship's fighters. On the reboot that ended its four-season run in 2009, Hatch returned as Tom Zarek, a conniving politician.
Hatch also appeared in other TV series, including All My Children, The Streets of San Francisco and Hawaii Five-0, but BSG was the career highlight for him. He wrote several books based on the original series and hosted BSG panels at fan conferences such as San Diego Comic-Con and Dragoncon.
According to his website, Hatch taught acting and personal growth workshops around the country, and ran The Richard Hatch Actor’s Lab, an acting class and workshop he taught in Los Angeles.
In 2015, appearing with co-star Dirk Benedict, who played pilot Starbuck in the original series, at a conference in Worcester, Mass., Hatch said he was a stage actor and an idealist looking for "meaningful" roles when he turned down the invitation to audition for the part of Apollo.
"They were trying to pitch me this mega-production that everyone wanted to be in and I was like, 'yeah,' OK,' " Hatch said. "Then, he handed me the script and the whole idea of an idealist actor went out the window. It was the little kid in me who said 'yes.' "