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Remembering Babylon 5 Star Michael O’Hare

If you have friends you appreciate stay in touch with them.

Barry Rubin


April 3, 2013 - 2:24 pm

Michael O’Hare whose death at age 60 I just heard about today came as a special shock. He died of a totally unexpected heart attack. Of everybody I know I would have thought of Michael as the most indestructible, full of life and vitality.

Michael was an actor who is best known for playing the lead during the first year of Babylon 5 and who should be best known for originating the lead in the Broadway play, A Few Good Man [I wish I could share with you his jokes about the play but to put it mildly he thought it was a travesty on the honor of the U.S. military], for which he was passed up in the film version in favor of Jack Nicholson.

But that’s not why Michael was important. He was a friend beyond measure; a brave and funny and noble person. His brother was killed in a naval flying accident and Michael himself was grossly mistreated by those with power over his profession.

I will always regret that I did not stay as closely in touch with him as I should have done and it makes me resolve not to make the same mistake again. To say that he was not into social media is an understatement. But it is completely my fault that we got too far out of touch.

I can only tell you this: If you have friends you appreciate stay in touch with them. If there are people you want to tell about your good feelings about them be sure to express them. Because one day you might lose the chance to do so.

Left is Michael as you might have seen him; in the center is how I knew him (close to the way he looked joking at my wedding about how he put on his best space station commander act to impress my future in-laws). A truly great person and may his memory be blessed.


Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition, Viking-Penguin), the paperback edition of The Truth about Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan), and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley). The website of the GLORIA Center is at and of his blog, Rubin Reports, at

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I never even heard about his death. RIP! I loved Babylon 5!!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I finally signed up to comment when I saw this post. I too admit that his performance on B5 hit a note from the get go. I stayed with the it until the end but I always missed his character. The first season, although it suffers from wobbly legs, remains a favorite while the last seasons have faded from memory. I enjoyed his work elsewhere. O'Hare's replacement on B5, although personable, was not nearly as engaging as he seemed to just be replaying former roles. The new actor was far more popular with the cast than O'Hare (as he was far more familiar with the politics of network TV and how to play the game) so it was a pleasant surprise to see someone remember O'Hare in a far more positive light.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Thank you for this note about him, I enjoyed his work.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sad to hear. He was a fine actor.

I must admit, that first year - heck, the first episode - of B5 caught me, and he had a great deal to do with that.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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