March 20, 2006 by

Andreas Katsulas

8 comments

Categories: Actors, Hollywood

akatsulas.jpgAndrew C. Katsulas, a character actor who appeared in dozens of movies and television shows, died on Feb. 13 of lung cancer. He was 59.
The St. Louis native caught the acting bug at a young age. He performed in community stage productions as a child, took drama as an extracurricular activity in high school, majored in drama at St. Louis University and earned a master’s degree in theatre from Indiana University.
After completing his education, Katsulas worked in the St. Louis, New York and Boston theatre scenes. For 15 years, he traveled around the world with Peter Brook’s International Theatre Company, doing both improvisational theatre and prepared stage pieces. Katsulas acted everywhere he could, his commanding presence and bold voice resonating from premiere locations, like Lincoln Center in New York and The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., to more humble stages, such as the streets of Europe and remote African villages.
Landing a role in the 1987 film “The Sicilian” brought Katsulas to Hollywood, where he became a familiar face on the big and small screen. He played mobster Joey Venza in “Someone to Watch Over Me,” terrorist leader El Sayed Jaffa in “Executive Decision” and the infamous one-armed man Frederick Sykes in “The Fugitive.” On television, Katsulas appeared in “Guiding Light,” “Max Headroom,” “Alien Nation,” “The Equalizer,” “Jake and the Fat Man,” “Hunter,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “Diagnosis Murder” and “NYPD Blue.”
Even though his striking visage was often obscured by latex prosthetic makeup, Katsulas was best known for his work in the science fiction and fantasy genre. He portrayed the red-eyed Narn ambassador G’Kar for five years in “Babylon 5,” and reprised the role in subsequent “Babylon 5” telefilms. Star Trek fans knew him as Romulan Commander Tomalak in “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” and as a Vissian captain on “Enterprise.”
“He lived an amazing life…full of travel and wonder and good work…was part of the world renowned Peter Brook company…he saw the planet, loved and was loved, ate at great restaurants, smoked too many cigarettes. He lived a life some people would die for,” said writer/producer J. Michael Straczynski.
Watch a Video Tribute From Z-Team Productions

8 Responses to Andreas Katsulas

  1. Max Ayers

    I had the honor of working with Andreas Katsulas at an appearance at Saint Louis University. I watched him interacting with the students before and after the appearance, answering their questions, signing autographs (and even a couple of G’Kar dolls). He treated everyone, staff and student alike, with respect and was a complete professional. If I hadn’t been a fan before I met him,(and I was)I certainly was one after I met him.
    I read an interview with the creator of Babylon 5. Andreas was reading the first scripts in the commisary and complained, “Why am I always the bad guy? Why can’t G’kar be a good guy?” “Well…why not?” thought the creator and changed not only the character of G’Kar but the direction of the entire series. No role was too small, no character too meaningless.
    As an actor and a gentleman, he will be missed.

  2. Chris

    Damn. I was just looking up the old Babylon 5 actors, and am deeply saddened at Andreas’ death. Such a shame. May he rest in peace.

  3. Steve C

    A terrible shock to find Andreas no longer with us. Like Chris in a previous post, I only found out about his passing through searching for more information about him after seeing his role as G’Kar in Babylon 5.
    The changing role of the character in the programme was interpreted so well by Andreas and showed his considerable talent, playing a diverse range of emotions and interractions with other actors within the Epic saga that is B5.
    He made the role truly his own.
    Along with the Narn Regime, I will miss him.

  4. Stephen Kelly

    Too young, life can be so unfair. A very talented man. I dont believe G’kar could have been brought to life by anyone else as well as he was by Andreas. He will never truly die as B5 will be watched by generation after generation.
    We will see him again in the place where no shadows fall.
    S. Kelly, Glasgow, Scotland

  5. Shawn, Columbus, Ohio

    A very talented actor who threw his whole being into the role. His passing will be morned by all the Babylon 5 followers and the acting community as well.

  6. Jim Creasy

    Andreas Katsulas’ role as G’kar was my favorite character in Babylon 5. I am sorry we will no longer see him in new roles, but he has left us with a remarkable collection a characters – representing the full spectrum noble human souls.

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