After a long fight with lung cancer, Andreas Katsulas passed
away on February 13 at the age of 59.
Katsulas enjoyed a long and varied career in theatre, television,
and film, including roles in such genre favorites as Max
Headroom, Star Trek, Alien Nation, Star Trek:TNG, and Inner
Sanctum. He even appeared in the TV movie The Death of
the Incredible Hulk. But for me he was and always will be
G'Kar, from Babylon 5.
G'Kar was what brought me into the show, you see. I didn't bother
to watch the show when it premiered because I worked nights
and wouldn't be able to keep up with it. All I knew about the
show was what I had heard or read about it or seen in previews
— space station, humans, aliens, etc. But I was home one
night with one of my roommates flipping channels, and we happened
across the show. The episode was "Mind War," and we were hooked
immediately. I was blown away with the final scenes between
G'Kar and Catherine Sakai, especially the idea that no one on
the station was entirely what they appeared to be.
TV is usually so easy, you know? The good guys and bad guys
are pretty clear. Londo Mollari was a kick: a fun-loving, life-of-the-party
kind of guy. G'Kar was dour and angry and strident, always beating
that "Centauri are bad!" drum. It never occurred to me that
while Londo was indeed a fun guy to be around, he was also willing
to turn a blind eye to some pretty horrible things if the end
result benefitted him. It certainly never occurred to me that
all of G'Kar's doomsaying and anti-Centauri bias was, in fact,
true. I enjoyed watching both Londo and G'Kar, but it was G'Kar's
journey that kept me coming back: his love for his people, his
pain at their betrayal, his passionate determination to wrest
some good from all of the horror.
The reason that I cared so much about G'Kar was Andreas Katsulas'
performance. Somehow, while buried under pounds of prosthetics
and alien make-up, he brought G'Kar to life. Andreas Katsulas
played a lizard from outer space and managed to make him the
soul of a complicated and wonderful show. I'll miss him.