A graduate of the ABC daytime drama All My Children, Richard Hatch managed to get off on the wrong foot with critics and audiences alike with his first starring prime-time TV role. In 1976, Hatch replaced Michael Douglas on the long-running cop series The Streets of San Francisco. Before the ink was dry on the contract, Hatch was issuing public complaints about the shortcomings of his character, inspector Dan Robbins. This might have been excused as the youthful hubris, but then Hatch took his beloved co-star Karl Malden to task for giving him acting advice on the set. Not altogether surprisingly, Hatch was the subject of fewer and fewer interviews and articles after Streets was cancelled in 1977. He tried to attain film stardom, but things like Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen (1980) were enough to scuttle anyone's career. Luckily, Richard Hatch was able to garner a fan following with his role as Apollo on the 1979 sci-fi series Battlestar Gallactica; he also delivered a superb performance as Jan of Jan and Dean in the 1978 TV biopic Dead Man's Curve. Hatch later joined the Battlestar Galactica remake, playing the recurring role of terrorist-turned-politician Tom Zarek. Hatch died in 2017, at age 71.
Biography by Hal Erickson
- Studied classical piano at age 8; dreamed of being an Olympic pole vaulter in his youth.
- Was painfully shy in college but when he stood up in front of an English class and read an article about the recent assassination of President John F. Kennedy, he was encouraged by some of his peers to try acting.
- Took an acting class in Hollywood to overcome his insecurities.
- Replaced Michael Douglas on The Streets of San Francisco in 1976.
- Big break came in 1978 when he was cast as Captain Apollo on Battlestar Galactica.
- Is the only actor to appear on the original Battlestar Galactica series and the 2004 reboot.
- Wrote a series of Battlestar Galactica novels.