One of the most important yet overlooked science fiction series of all time, Babylon 5, was defined in no small part by its security chief, Michael Garibaldi. A firebrand who was never afraid to stand up for what he believed was right -- that doesn't just describe Garibaldi, the fictional security chief, it also sums up the real-life man who portrayed him: Jerry Doyle.
Sadly, it was confirmed today that by his family on Twitter that Jerry Doyle passed this Wednesday, July 27, 2016.
The family of Jerry Doyle is sad to announce Jerry’s passing. The cause of death is unknown at this time.— Jerry Doyle (@jerrydoyle) July 28, 2016
Sources reveal that a call was made Wednesday afternoon to his Las Vegas home, where he was discovered unresponsive. While the cause of death remains unknown at this time, there is no suspicion of foul play. An autopsy is pending.
In addition to having played Michael Garibaldi on B5, Doyle is best known for his radio work on his own podcast, The Jerry Doyle Show, as well as being the founder of news site Epic Times. Some might call him a conservative, he might describe himself as an anarchist or a libertarian, but there can be no denying that the right-of-center performer was not afraid to make his opinions known, and even run for political office. To say that his voice in the Hollywood world was unique and valuable would be underplaying it. His work as a radio host reached thousands of listeners.
And, though they differed politically, his voice also reached the heart and mind of Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski, who released a statement upon Doyle's passing which reads in part:
"Regardless of whatever was going on in his life, whether it was marital issues, a broken arm, forced couch-surfing with Bruce and Andreas or other problems, he never once pulled a prima donna on us; he showed up every day on time, knew his lines, and insisted that the guest cast live up to the standards of the main cast, to the point of roughing up one guest star who showed up not knowing his lines. Trust me when I say that after Jerry got done with him, every day he showed up, he knew his lines. And then some.
He was funny, and dangerous, and loyal, and a prankster, and a pain in the ass; he was gentle and cynical and hardened and insightful and sometimes as dense as a picket fence...and his passing is a profound loss to everyone who knew him, especially those of us who fought beside him in the trenches of Babylon 5."
Co-star and B5 commander Bruce Boxleitner also offered his condolences.
I am so devastated at the news of the untimely death of my good friend @jerrydoyle. During the B5 years, he was a great pal, RIP Garibaldi.— Bruce Boxleitner (@boxleitnerbruce) July 28, 2016
Doyle is not the first Babylon 5 star to pass. We've lost Richard Biggs, Michael O'Hare, Andreas Katsulas and Jeff Conaway over the years. It's a hard but valuable reminder to those of us who love the work of our favorite sci-fi stars to cherish every moment we have with them.
And, as ever, I remind you that, in life, all we can hope for is that something we do matters and that we will be remembered. Jerry Doyle, wherever you may be, what you did matters, and you will be remembered.
(via Epic Times)