'Battlestar Galactica' Actor Richard Hatch Dead at 71

He died Tuesday afternoon after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

February 7, 2017, 8:20 PM

— -- Richard Hatch, an actor best known for starring on TV’s original "Battlestar Galactica" as the space fighter pilot Apollo, has died at age 71,

According to Michael Kaliski, the actor's manager, Hatch died in a Santa Clarita home at 1:30 p.m. after a battle with pancreatic cancer, ABC-owned station KABC reported. He was 71.

"I will always remember him fondly for his inspiring sense of youthful wonder, his boundless passion for creative expression, and his huge, kind heart," Kaliski said.

Hatch began his TV acting career on the daytime soap "All My Children" in 1970 and appeared on other TV shows of the day, including in the hit crime drama "The Streets of San Francisco" and the comedy "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman."

In 1978, Hatch was cast as the dashing Viper pilot Captain Apollo in producer Glen A. Larson’s space adventure "Battlestar Galactica." The series -- about humanity's distant ancestors seeking the fabled planet Earth when all humans are nearly annihilated by a race of robots they created -- was designed to capitalize on the popularity of "Star Wars," released the previous year. "Battlestar Galactica" boasted state-of-the-art special effects but lasted only one season. Even so, Hatch was nominated for a Golden Globe for his work on the series.

Hatch continued to work on TV and even attempted to revive "Battlestar Galactica" on his own before the Sci-Fi Channel debuted its critically acclaimed reimagining of the series in 2004, after a 2003 miniseries. Hatch joined the cast midrun in a recurring role as terrorist-turned-politician Tom Zarek.

"Richard Hatch was a good man, a gracious man, and a consummate professional," tweeted "Battlestar Galactica" reboot co-creator and producer Ronald D. Moore. "His passing is a heavy blow to the entire BSG family."

"BSG" reboot co-star Edward James Olmos, who played Adm. William Adama, tweeted that Hatch "made our universe a better place We love you for it. Rest In Peace my friend @SoSayWeAll the Admiral!"

Hatch is survived by a son, Paul, who Kaliski said was by the actor's side at the time of his death, and a brother, John.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events