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My Time with Richard Hatch -- May He Rest in Peace

This is one of those rare times I’m going to write about an actor who I met many times, yet I’ve never asked for an autograph from.

My older brother collected sci-fi memorabilia and was obsessed with the show Battlestar Galactica. So the first time I went to Comic Con -- the biggest comic book/movie convention in the world -- right here in San Diego, I was excited when I saw Richard Hatch, Captain Apollo, at a booth. He had a line of about 25 fans, and I took a picture of him. The next year, the same booth, the same amount of fans. Yet later in the day, I saw him walking around and had a conversation with him. I told him how my brother still has the collection of Battlestar Galactica stuff in the garage and he said, “You should bring some of it, I’ll sign it for him.”

I asked if I called him, if he’d say hello. He smiled and said, “Sure.”

We got his voicemail, but he left a nice message. When I saw the actor that played Boomer (Herbert Jefferson, Jr.), he said, “No! I will not do that. I’m here selling my autograph. If you want to buy something, I’ll sign it. Otherwise, I’m not interested in doing phone calls.”

I tried to act interested in the stuff he had at his table, all of which cost $25 extra for a signature. I thought about how Carrie Fisher was signing stuff for $35, and figured this wasn’t a very good investment. And besides, he wasn’t very nice.

It’s funny that the more famous actor from the show was the nicer one. And each year, he’d always be smiling, making the fans laugh, and taking selfies with them.                I was sad to hear today that he passed away from pancreatic cancer at 71.       

Hatch didn’t just do Battlestar. He was on the soap opera All My Children, and had a lot of guest roles in various TV shows from the ‘70s and ‘80s. After the two year run of Battlestar, he wrote five Battlestar books. Many of the fans in line always had books for him to sign.       

I like to think he brought the big smile of his to that captains chair in the sky.

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Tags: Battlestar Galactica, Boomer, Captain Apollo, Herbert Jefferson Jr., Richard Hatch

Comment by Brian Burger on February 10, 2017 at 5:12pm

Josh great blog! I was a huge Galactica fan as a kid and got to meet Richard Hatch once and he signed a photo for me. He was the one of the nicest celebs I've met and would talk and talk and talk about science fiction and he always wanted to get Battlestar back off the ground with the same kind of show like the original. I was not too happy when they decided to "re-imagine" the Battlestar Galactica universe so I kindly did not watch the re-make as they never quite live up to the original and reasons we fell in love with the original in the first place. I think by writing the novels he always held out hope that interest would pick up and they would continue the story from the series as it was in 1978/1979 but it never gained any traction for that to happen and I think by appearing in the re-imagined Galactica he thought a new generation of fans would discover the original. He was quite the ambassador for science fiction and may he rest in peace. So say we all!!  

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