Remembering Battlestar Galactica’s Richard Hatch By Castmates, Fans, Friends, And This Author

Posted by February 7, 2017 6 Comments

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Photo by Troy Nelson of Hero Dreams Imaging

Even as news of the death of actor, writer and teacher Richard Hatch has continued to rolled through fandom, legions of people who’ve had their lives touched by him took to social media to share in their memories and grief. Many fans spoke of their having been encouraged into taking up acting after taking one of Richard’s workshops that he offered at conventions he attended, while others spoke of having met him at conventions, and yet others were those fortunate to have worked alongside him.

As I  noted in the headline, I can gratefully say that he had become a dear friend to me over the past 5 years. It’d started out talking about doing a documentary, which we barely got started on, but then developed into a range of delightful adventures. No matter how he felt at any given time, if a fan would come by, he would make them feel like the center of his universe. He would always ask about them – he genuinely wanted to know about people and how to help encourage them forward. If people were interested even fleetingly like acting, he would encourage and inspire them. When working on different productions, including some fan series, he always brought his ‘A’ game, but never looked down on those who were new to their jobs. Instead he would wind up inspiring everyone to step up and give their all, by doing so himself.

One of his regular stories he would tell at conventions is about how he become introduced to the cast of the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica. He had been rather vocal of his disdain of a full reboot, rather than expanding on the original series, but after the Mini-series had aired, he began to see it’s possibilities. When showrunner Ron Moore cast him as political dissident, Tom Zarek, and added him into the series he came into an established ensemble cast. It could have gone poorly, but he and the cast bonded into a family that remains close eight years after it went off the air. Below are some of the tweets of his BSG Family, some castmates from other projects, and some collected other fan postings.

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Jeff BondEditor – Geek Magazine

I had the great pleasure of working with Richard on two projects: the Star Trek New Voyages fan film project run by James Cawley in upstate New York, and a project called Blade of Honor done by the same director, Mark Edward Lewis, here in Los Angeles. Richard was obviously the big name on both projects and I was amazed at how sweet, positive, accessible and funny he was–delighted to spend time with other, often non-professional actors like myself, extraordinarily giving, playful and always upbeat and positive. He could have easily avoided or looked down on any of the people working on these projects but he treated everyone like an equal and seemed genuinely excited and enthusiastic about both. We all feel the loss of these people as characters, icons and role models, but I will greatly miss Richard as a person.

 

James Vergon, Star Trek Voyages

Melissa and I had the privilege of being around Richard Hatch when we went back to NY in 2015 to work on another Star Trek New Yoyages episode. We weren’t in this episode but we helped out behind the scenes. It was really cool to be able to be a part of something he was in. I got to see him rehearsing, shooting scenes with the other actors and interacting with the rest of the crew. He was really nice. I didn’t get a chance to talk with him, I didn’t want to bother him he looked busy.

Anyway, RIP Richard. It was cool sharing the same craft table with you.

Alec Peters, producer/Prelude to Axanar

I first met Richard Hatch at the 15 year  Battlestar Galactica Reunion in 1993.  I soon after took my first acting class with Richard which lead to a 23 year friendship.  We would meet every year at Dragon Con when I lived there in Atlanta and his Benihana dinners are legendary.  He was the first person I approached to be in Axanar, and I will never forget the passion he showed for the project.  He became our biggest advocate and absolutely owned the role of Kharn in Prelude to Axanar.    He was loved by everyone who knew him for his passion and generosity of spirit.  He was always genuinely interested in the people who came to conventions to get his autograph and everyone has a great Richard story which enters on how good Richard made them feel.

I will miss my friend.

Another great quote found on Facebook:

In 1977 ; At Miss Illinois Universe pageant 99 girls chased him down the hall at pheasant run

(Last Updated February 8, 2017 7:24 pm )

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About Bill Watters

Games programmer by day, geek culture and fandom writer by night. You'll find me writing most often about tv and movies with a healthy side dose of the goings-on around the convention and fandom scene.

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