Andreas Katsulas 1946-2006

Andreas Katsulas and his characterization of G’kar was, in the end, the most memorable part of Babylon 5 for me. His portrayal of the ambassador for the newly liberated Narn was exactly what was needed to give the series ‘an edge’. Despicable, but at the same time likeable, the character matured with the show into the image of a visionary leader of his people, once again oppressed by their old masters.

His story arc was about the only one that came to a satisfying conclusion.

I’ll never forget the convention in Tulsa where he posed for this picture. (Yes, those are puppets, made by a friend of mine) He made the convention worth attending, all by himself.

This pretty much puts an end to the possibilities of a resurrection of B5. Without the characters of G’kar and Dr. Franklin (played by Richard Biggs who passed away in 2004) A story based on the original characters would be quite hard to tell.

I have found the voice over that Andreas did as G’kar at the end of the Episode “Z’ha’dum” to be quite moving at times. It goes like this:

“It was the end of the Earth year 2260. The War had come to a pause, suddenly and unexpectedly. All around it was as if the Universe were holding its breath, waiting. All of life can be broken down into moments of transition, and moments of revelation. This had the feeling of both.

G’Quan wrote: ‘There is a darkness greater than the one we fight. It is the darkness of the soul that has lost its way. The War we fight is not against powers and principalities, it is against chaos and despair. Greater than the death of flesh is the death of hope, the death of dreams. Against this peril we can never surrender.’

The future is all around us, waiting in moments of transition to be born in moments of revelation. No one knows the shape of that future, or where it will take us. We know only that it is always born in pain…”

He will be missed.

ZTeamProductions – Babylon 5: In Memory of Andreas Katsulas – Dec 7, 2008

http://www.zteamproductions.com

Editor’s note. I joined a Facebook group dedicated to Babylon 5 in 2019. They, of course, revisited this period in time near the anniversary of Andreas’ death. I posted the tribute above as part of the general sentiments of loss that were already present. No one had yet linked the tribute video when I posted it. It was nice to have something that I had saved on the blog to add to the group.

Author: RAnthony

I'm a freethinking, unapologetic liberal. I'm a former CAD guru with an architectural fetish. I'm a happily married father. I'm also a disabled Meniere's sufferer.

3 thoughts on “Andreas Katsulas 1946-2006”

  1. From: jms
    Date: Wed, Feb 15 2006 8:52 am

    Just over a year ago, Andreas Katsulas — who loved smoking with a passion that cannot be described — was diagnosed with lung cancer, which by then had already spread to other areas. He quit smoking at once and went on a healthy diet and vitamin program, but there was little hope of a good resolution even though the new regimen was very good for him. When we spoke about it, he laughed, and said, “Now that I’m dying I’ve never felt better!”

    His spirits were always up and positive, putting everyone at ease about his condition, because…well, that’s the kind of person he was.

    A couple of months ago, he and his wife convened a dinner with me, Doug, and Peter Jurasik, which was filled with laughter and stories and good food. He wanted to know all the stories we never told him because, as he said, “Who am I going to tell?” So we did. Because we knew we were saying goodbye, and there would not be a second chance.

    Last night, in the company of his wife and family, Andreas closed his eyes and went away.

    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.

    And, sadly, due to the last part of that equation…he did.

    Memorial arrangements are still being worked out, but will doubtless be private.

    Andreas is gone…and G’Kar with him, because no one else can ever play that role, or ever will.

    I will miss him terribly.

    J. Michael Straczynski

    1. I don’t know what caused me to flash back to his memorial all these years later, other than a dismal existential despair that has crept upon me for the past few years watching everything good and right be twisted into something so wrong words fail to convey the base betrayal the sin describes.
      So here we teeter on the edge of a plunge still further into madness and probable extinction. Watching hope die before our eyes, and the words of this memorial come back to haunt me. Weeping for a man I never knew, but a character I knew very well. Who died three years before my dad did, and yet I still count the loss of G’kar the greater one to me personally.
      Few people have I ever felt any resonance with. Fewer still characters. A mere handful at best, Gurney Halleck, Spider in the movie “Elysium”. John Carter(pre-mars), Spider Jerusalem, and G’kar are the only ones I can really think of off the top of my head.

      Born of pain, indeed. Towards what end, I ask? For what end? What good is wisdom if it profits not the wise? Being able to clearly see yet powerless to act is a curse of Cassandra. People talk about the one eyed man being king in the kingdom of the blind, but that’s bullshit. The One eyed man isn’t regarded as a king, he’s regarded as being insane. Or perhaps as psychic or with religious cult fervor among those blind, ignorant, AND insane. Which isn’t really much of an improvement of old one-eyes circumstances if you really think about it. Wisdom is the hardest thing you will ever find for yourself that carries so little value to anyone else. Nietzsche posed “there are those who wish to believe, and those who wish to know”. I’ve known since reading which group I’ve belonged to. I started life fifty years ago, and spent a lifetime gathering truths about the world. About life. Real things. The real world. Only to bring them back to people and times that couldn’t care less about them. Would have been helpful maybe if Friedreich had thought to mention the extreme rarity of that second type, and their lack of value to the the first type. People say they want the truth, but they really don’t. Not unless it agrees with something they already want to believe. If you give them a truth they don’t find palatable, they treat you as a pariah forever. So here I sit beyond the rim seeing some foreshadowing of what’s to come. Relegated to being little more than mute witness powerless to stop humans from spiraling further into madness.
      I doubt anyone will ever read this, much less anyone of note. But if you do, please accept my warmest regards. If you read this many years hence from this present moment in may of 2020, I hope i’m wrong about what’s to come. But if i’m right I’m so sorry for what little you have left, and littler still to look forward to. I tried to do something. Anything. Many things. Fought every way I knew how until my dying breath for us to have a future worth inheriting. I’m so very sorry I failed you. More than words could possibly ever convey. Please survive! Somehow. Someway. The universe is a colder place without our living voice in it. Get out there and see the stars for all of us who never got the chance to.

      With never-ending love from beyond the rim of hope,

      A nameless vagabond & collector of unwanted truths.

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