Richard Hatch, First Captain Apollo on Battlestar Galactica, Dead at 71

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Richard Hatch, best known for his role as Captain Apollo on the original Battlestar Galactica, has passed away from cancer.

His friend, composer Bear McReary broke the news on Twitter today. 

Hatch had been in hospice care after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 71 years old.

Richard Hatch

Hatch began his long career in theater before catching his first television break on All My Children in 1971.

His theater credits include runs in the Los Angeles Resperatory Theater as well as in Chicago and off-Broadway roles.

He got his first big break with a role on The Streets of San Francisco in its final season as Inspector Dan Robbins.

It was on Battlestar Galactica in 1978 where Richard Hatch became a household name.

Hatch Apollo

As Captain Apollo, Hatch starred alongside Dirk Benedict and Lorne Greene for one season.

Yes, the original series of Battlestar Galactica was on the air for only one season, but much like Firefly later, it left a mark with fans and the actors who were a part of it.

After Battlestar, Hatch went on to guest star on many different series.

He had roles on CHiPs, Fantasy Island, Murder She Wrote, MacGyver and Hotel.

He had a large recurring role on Dynasty in 1984 and one on Santa Barbara in 1990, but Hatch spent a large portion of his later years trying to revive Battlestar Galactica.

While his own pitch was turned down by Universal Studios, Battlestar Galactica was revived with Ronald D. Moore at the helm.

Hatch Zarek

Hatch was tapped to play Tom Zarek, a former terrorist who turned politician upon the ship, for a total of 22 episodes over the run of the rebooted series.

He left quite the impression on that series, as well, and his coworkers made statements upon hearing the news of his death.

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

“I share tragic news with a heavy heart,” wrote McCreary. “Richard Hatch is no longer with us. Goodbye Tom Zarek/Apollo.”

“Richard Hatch, you made our universe a better place,” said Edward James Olmos, who starred as Admiral William Adama. “We love you for it. Rest In Peace my friend. So Say We All.”

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), enjoys mentoring writers, wine, and passionately discussing the nuances of television. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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