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Richard Hatch (1945 - 2017)

Getty Images / ABC Photo Archives / ABC

Richard Hatch (1945 - 2017)

Richard Hatch, the actor who starred in the original 1970s “Battlestar Galactica” TV series and returned in a new role for its acclaimed 2000s reboot, died Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, according to multiple news sources. He was 71.

The actor, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, had been in hospice care, TMZ reported. 

Hatch started his career in theater in Los Angeles. His first television role was on the soap opera “All My Children” in 1970. He played Philip Brent on the soap for two years and then made many guest appearances on popular television series such as “Barnaby Jones.” He starred on the last season of the detective series “The Streets of San Francisco,” replacing Michael Douglas, who had left the series.

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In 1978, Hatch stepped into pop culture history with his leading role as the heroic Captain Apollo on the sci-fi TV series “Battlestar Galactica.” The interstellar ABC epic, which told the story of a ragtag space fleet of refugee humans on the run from genocidal cyborgs called the Cylons, sought to capitalize on the huge movie success of "Star Wars" the year before. "Battlestar Galactica" was canceled after one season (and briefly retooled a year later as "Galactica 1980”), but not before Hatch was nominated for a Golden Globe.

After “Battlestar Galactica,” he made guest appearances on such TV shows as “Love Boat,” “Fantasy Island,” and “Dynasty.”

During the 1990s, Hatch attempted to secure the rights to revive “Battlestar Galactica” in the form of a sequel series. He wrote novels and comic books based on the property and even filmed a trailer for a possible television revival. His proposal was never approved; instead, another production team remade the“Battlestar Galactica” concept from scratch, and it debuted on the Sci-Fi Channel (now Syfy) in 2004. Hatch had a recurring role on the remake through its 2009 conclusion as Tom Zarek, a charismatic terrorist turned politician.

In 2013, he starred in a short film called “Cowboys & Engines” alongside Malcolm McDowell and Walter Koenig, and he appeared in the web series “The Silicon Assassin Project.”

Actor Edward James Olmos, who played William Adama in the "Battlestar Galactica" remake, paid tribute on Twitter: "Richard Hatch you made our universe a better place We love you for it. Rest In Peace my friend #SoSayWeAll the Admiral!"

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