Richard Hatch, an actor best known for his starring role in "Battlestar Galactica," has died at the age of 71.
His death was announced by his family, reports TMZ, which learned that Hatch had pancreatic cancer.
He got his break in television in 1970, when he joined the cast of "All My Children." From there, he went on to appear in numerous classic TV shows of the decade, including "Hawaii Five-O," "The Streets of San Francisco," "Murder She Wrote," "The Love Boat," "Fantasy Island" and others.
In 1978 he landed the starring role in "Battlestar Galactica," a science fiction television series that followed the "Star Wars" craze.
Although the original series lasted only one season, it was revived several times over the ensuing decades, and the franchise was commercialized in novelizations, comic books, video games and other popular merchandise.
For his portrayal of Apollo, he was nominated in 1979 for a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a TV series. However, he almost didn’t take the part, notes Gizmodo. As he explained to AMC:
When I first got the original "Battlestar" script, I didn’t even want to do it. But the stupid part of it was, looking at the script with all the Ralph McQuarrie art, and seeing the character flying through the universe in one of those Vipers, the little boy in me wanting to fly through the stars ultimately said yes. When we watched the original "Star Wars", didn’t we all fall in love with getting in those X-Wings? So when it comes down to it, it’s the little kid in us that usually wins out.
In 2009, Hatch reflected on his history with the show. “I’ve been lucky to be in two 'Battlestar' series," he said. "Not too many people get to be in two series 30 years apart in a story that they love, working with actors, writers and producers that are just absolutely extraordinary. I had a great time.”