Friday, March 29, 2013

R.I.P. Michael O'Hare

SF fandom lost a great in September of last year. What little eulogy I have to offer now must seem disrespectful, but I never intended that. Although I knew he was gone, I haven't really been sure what to say. As an awkward, gawky teen often seeking a father figure (and perhaps now as an awkward man as well) I really look up to the larger-than-life heroes of science fiction, and Michael O'Hare was no exception. I had the chance to appreciate his performance again recently.

I'm loving my repeat viewing of 'Babylon 5' little by little with my good friend Ron. We're presently in season 4. Mr. O'Hare originated the role of Commander Jeffrey Sinclair. Sinclair is a sombre but fair-minded man working to overcome his prejudice against his one-time alien foes, the Minbari, and finding new ways to increase the peace in the galaxy at large.

Michael O'Hare, at a mere 60, was the fourth main B5 character of relative youth to pass on since it aired. He was preceded by Richard Briggs, Jeff Conaway, and Andreas Katsulas. All fine actors, all to be missed.

Apart from a bit part in 'The Trial of the Incredible Hulk', I have never seen him perform in anything else. He was active on stage as well, but remained out of the small screen limelight for the last 12 years of his life.

While it's fair to say that I took to his successor as B5 station commander (Bruce Boxleitner as John Sheridan) with greater affection, Michael O'Hare made a strong impression on me. He's got a lot of good moments in his single season, and his surprising and exciting return to the role in season three is an absolute series highlight.

My great sympathy to his friends and family.

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