I first met Richard Hatch in September of 2013, at the Los Angeles premiere for my then-roommate’s film, A Strange Brand of Happy. I think our friend Bekka, who was also in the movie, invited him.
He seemed very down to earth and all of the charming man I remembered his character Captain Apollo being on the original Battlestar Galactica I watched growing up.
After the movie, several of us went to a local hookah joint and hung out. He called me over to his table and asked if I had been the person right behind him during the screening. I replied that I had and he told me how much he appreciated my being entertained during the movie and how it helped everyone relax and enjoy it more. He invited me to sit down at his table and we had a good conversation. I mentioned liking his BSG novels (set in the original series universe), as well as his turn on the new BSG. He offered to introduce me to a group he was involved in that made short films and web series, etc.
I met him the second time following a San Diego ComicCon screening of Axenar, a Star Trek fan film where he played the villain. A bunch of us retired to the Spaghetti Shop after the screening and he held court for a few hours.
I didn’t see him at last year’s Comic Con. He might have been there and I just missed him. I’m hoping it was that and not the cancer kicking his ass. Which, by the way, I never heard him complain about, the pain or the struggle.
I knew Richard Hatch as a funny, entertaining, strong man, a man of his convictions – not necessarily faith in his case, but faith in the projects he got behind. The science fiction world is a little darker with his loss. In the words of the show, “As you are now, we once were; as we are now, you may become.”