Richard Hatch, born May 21, 1945 in Santa Monica, California, is an American actor best known for his role of Captain Apollo on the original Battlestar Galactica movie and television series, for which Hatch received a Golden Globe Award nomination.
Richard Hatch was studying piano at the age of eight. After attending Harbor College in San Pedro, California, he joined a Los Angeles Repertory Theater that took him to New York City in 1967. He starred off-Broadway in several plays and musicals and won the Obie Award for his work in PS Your Cat Is Dead in Chicago. Hatch also has appeared in the American soap operas Dynasty, All My Children and Santa Barbara. Before he starred in the original Battlestar Galactica in 1978, he replaced Michael Douglas in The Streets of San Francisco and won Germany's Bravo Youth Magazine Award for the role. Richard Hatch has also starred in such movies as The Hatfields and The McCoys with Jack Palance, Addie and The Kings Of Hearts with Jason Robards, Last Of The Belles with Susan Sarandon, and the cult classic Deadman's Curve where Hatch portrayed Jan Berry of the musical group Jan and Dean.
Richard Hatch can also be heard in numerous television commercials and other voice-overs. He wrote, co-directed and executive-produced a Battlestar Galactica trailer, called The Second Coming, that won acclaim at science-fiction conventions. Hatch produced the trailer to pressure Universal into creating a new series of Battlestar Galactica that would have been a direct continuation of the original series. Original series actors John Colicos (Baltar), Terry Carter (Col. Tigh) and Jack Stauffer (Bojay) appeared in the trailer along with Richard Hatch himself. It is presumed that the actors would have appeared in the series itself. Hatch also believed that he could persuade Dirk Benedict to return and play Starbuck.
Richard Hatch also co-authored a series of novels based on continuing the voyage of the Battlestar Galactica with his character (Captain Apollo) replacing Adama as Commander of the Galactica. However, Battlestar Galactica returned to television screens as a re-imagining, rather than the sequel for which Hatch had campaigned. Initially, he was bitterly disappointed by this turn of events and was highly critical of the prospective new series on his web site. However, Hatch developed a respect for Ronald D. Moore, the new series' producer, when he appeared as a featured guest at Galacticon (the Battlestar Galactica 25th anniversary convention, hosted by Richard Hatch) and answered questions posed by a very hostile audience.
In 2003, Richard Hatch was offered and accepted a recurring role in the new Battlestar Galactica series. He plays Tom Zarek, a terrorist turned politician, who spent twenty years in prison for blowing up a government building. In an irony probably intended by the show's producers, Hatch/Zarek spends most of his first episode in heated debate with Captain Apollo, the role that Richard Hatch had played in the original series. He has appeared in further episodes of the series as one of the major guest stars.
Richard Hatch is in pre-production of his own space opera, The Great War of Magellan, and has written a comic book series and role-playing game in support of this. Richard Hatch is presently working a novel trilogy for The Great War of Magellan with his Battlestar Galactica co-author, Brad Linaweaver. When not acting, Richard lectures and conducts workshops on acting, self-expression, and communication throughout the world. In private life he is divorced with one son.