February 15, 2006

RIP: Babylon 5's G'Kar, Andreas Katsulas Dead at 59

Actor Andreas Katsulas passed away on February 13, 2006 after a long fight with lung cancer, he was 59 years old.

I am not the biggest fan of Babylon 5, not for lack of desire, just that I have not seen enough. I have always liked what I have seen of it. Katsulas played the green skinned lizard alien G'Kar on the series. He was one of my favorite characters, a noble man who valued honor, but was not above entering a scrap if it was for something he believed in. He had great on-screen chemistry with his primary adversary, Londo Mollari, played with Napoleonic verve by Peter Jurasik. That pair made for some memorable television.

Andreas also played a memorable role in rival franchise Star Trek: The Next Generation, as high ranking Romulan officer Commander Tomalak. A role where he had another sparring partner with Patrick Stewart's Captain Picard. He made an appearance on another Trek series, playing a Vissian captain who befriends Captain Archer on Enterprise. He appeared on numerous other television series as well, including Max Headroom, Alien Nation, Hunter, and Millenium. His last appearance was in a 2003 episode of NYPD Blue entitled "Shear Stupidity."

He was no stranger to the big screen either, with his most memorable role coming in an Oscar nominated 1993 film. He played the elusive one armed man, Frederick Sykes, opposite Harrison Ford in The Fugitive. He has also appeared in Communion, Executive Decision, and Jane Austen's Mafia!, among others.

From all that I have seen of Andreas Katsulas, he appeared to be a genuinely nice guy. A friend of mine related a story of when he had the opportunity to meet him some years ago at a science fiction convention in New York. He said that he was the most gracious person there, staying late to sign autographs and talk to his fans. He showed an appreciation to his fans that others appearing did not. He wanted to spend the time to talk to the people who came to see him, realizing that the fans were the reason he was there.

I never had the opportunity to meet him, but I wish I had. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and loved ones in their time of loss.

Let me close this with a quote from his character, G'Kar:
I believe that when we leave a place a part of it goes with us and part of us
remains. Go anywhere in these halls, when it is quiet and just listen. After a
while you will hear the echoes of all of our conversations, every thought and
word we've exchanged. Long after we are gone, our voices will linger in these
walls for as long as this place remains. But I will admit that the part of me
that going will very much miss the part of you that is staying.

Read more on the Sci Fi Wire.
See his filmography at IMDB.com.


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