As I said when I started this thing, I wanted to keep the material light and funny. Unfortunately, life has had different ideas. But I’m going to try something right in the middle – a positive post, in memory of someone lost.
Few people will recognise the name in the title of this post, and that is said. Michael O’Hare was a great actor, best known for his role as Commander Jeffrey Sinclair in the TV sci-fi series “Babylon 5”. But I’m not going to regurgitate his filmography – Wiki can do a far better job. I’m going to give a salute, and a little insight, to the man behind the character.
It was my great pleasure to meet Mr. O’Hare many, many years ago when B5 was first hitting the small screen. I met him at a tiny convention in the Chicago suburbs, a low key affair with less than 100 attendees. Most actors booked into such a venue will be introduced, come out on stage, talk for a few minutes, answer a few questions, then go off to a table, sign autographs for an hour, and leave. Low cost for the fan, low effort for the actor.
He BOUNDED onto the small stage, full of energy, making the audience laugh and applaud wildly as spoke, not only of the new show, but also about various things that happened. (My memory is a bit faded due to the intervening years and medications). He thoroughly entertained that audience, kept us all on the edge of our seats, and left to a standing ovation. And at the autograph table, he signed an autograph for EVERY person – some folks, more than one – and posed for photos as well He refused to leave, despite the con management insisting his time was up, until he made sure that each and every one of us not only got a personalised autograph, but a few moments of one-on-one conversation with him as well.
So, though we’ve lost a key member of an iconic sci-fi franchise, I prefer not to think of that loss. I prefer to remember a small stage in a small auditorium, where a fellow Chicagoan gave me one of the most memorable convention experiences I’ve ever had. I prefer to remember Michael as that passionate, funny, giving man who turned me from casual viewer to devoted fan.
Thank you, Michael.