Although he starred in the show for only one season, television actor Richard Hatch anointed himself the ambassador to cult sci-fi series "Battlestar: Galactica" (ABC 1978). After years of trying to resurrect interest in the idea through novels and a self-produced short film, Hatch was rewarded with a recurring part on the show's new incarnation on the SciFi Channel. Richard Hatch was born in Santa Monica, California, and although he studied piano as a child, his primary interest was sports. It wasn't until a high school presentation on the assassination of President Kennedy that he developed a leaning toward performing. After attending Harbor College in San Pedro, Calif., he joined a Los Angeles repertory theater company, with whom he traveled to New York City. He performed in off-Broadway plays such as "Song of Walt Whitman" and "Young Rebels," and directed as well. In 1970, Hatch made his television debut on the daytime soap opera "All My Children" (ABC 1970-2011), where he played the role of Philip Brent. He went on to star in the Civil War-era drama "The Hatfields and The McCoys" (ABC, 1975) before playing Detective Dan Robbins in the cop drama "The Streets of San Francisco" (ABC 1972-77) after series star Michael Douglas departed in 1976. He also played '60s pop singer Jan Berry in an acclaimed TV movie on the duo Jan and Dean, "Deadman's Curve" (CBS 1978). Hatch next took the part of Capt. Apollo in "Battlestar: Galactica," a sci-fi series created by prolific producer Glen A. Larson. The premise -- a wagon train of humans, fleeing from evil Cylon robots, embark on a interstellar quest to find Earth -- was created a decade earlier, but the special-effects filled show capitalized on the burgeoning interest in science fiction at the time thanks to movies like "Star Wars." (1977). Hatch's noble, earnest Apollo complemented the reckless demeanor of co-star Dirk Benedict's Starbuck, and meshed with Lorne Greene's stately performance as Adama, his father. But the expensive show began to slide in the ratings, and it was cancelled after its first year. Hatch's character did not figure into a re-conceived version, "Galactica: 1980," which also didn't survive long. Hatch went on to countless guest starring roles on TV series throughout the 1980s and '90s, as well as co-starring in a number of low-budget action, thriller and sci-fi features, such as "Heated Vengeance" (1985), "Delta Force Commando II" (1991) and "Unseen Evil" (1999). A mainstay at sci-fi conventions, Hatch noted an ongoing interest in "Galactica," and penned a trilogy of novels based on characters and events from the show. The books were successful enough to spur continued installments, and Hatch went on to write a comic book series based on the show as well. As nostalgia for the show and remakes in general began to rise, Hatch spearheaded an effort to re-launch the show, and financed a four-minute "trailer," including some former stars of the show and featuring computer-generated effects, to entice Hollywood. Although SciFi's critically hailed and highly rated re-launch "Battlestar Galactica" (SciFi 2004-09) was independent of Hatch and his efforts, he did land a recurring part as the once-incarcerated, charismatic political figure Tom Zarek for his commitment to keeping the franchise alive. Initially written as an homage to Hatch, thanks to the actor's strong performance Zarek became a key figure on the series, posing a decided political threat for President Roslin (Mary McDonnell). Continuing his work in science fiction, Hatch co-starred in "InAlienable" (2008), written and produced by fellow fan favorite Walter Koenig, and appeared in several shorts and fan-made shoestring features. Richard Hatch died of pancreatic cancer on February 7, 2017.
Cast (Feature Film)
Made TV debut on the ABC daytime soap opera "All My Children," playing the role of Philip Brent
Starred in the Civil-War-era drama "The Hatfields & The McCoys" (ABC)
Joined the cast of the ABC cop drama "The Streets of San Francisco" replacing series star Michael Douglas
Portrayed Captain Apollo in "Battlestar: Galactica," an ABC sci-fi series created by prolific producer Glen A. Larson
Had a brief recurring role on the ABC drama, "Dynasty"
Played a Vietnam war veteran in "Heated Vengeance"
Cast in the NBC daytime soap, "Santa Barbara" as Steven Slade
Cast as a Delta Force Leader in the action feature, "Delta Force Commando II"
Financed a four-minute 'trailer' of "Battlestar: Galactica" for the networks, in an effort to re-launch the show
Played a college professor blinded by greed in "Unseen Evil"
Landed recurring part as the once-incarcerated, charismatic political figure Tom Zarek for his commitment to keeping the franchise alive
Appeared as Silicon Assassin on the series "The Silicon Assassin Project"
Appeared in "Prelude to Axanar," a preview film intended to sell audiences on a crowd-funded Star Trek film that was ultimately blocked from distribution by Paramount
Final screen credit as Dr. Shaker in "Asylum of Darkness"