It’s been a pretty sad year for pop culture with the loss of so many great and influential talents across the realms of TV, film, music and sport. This is another, and though many people may not know the name Jerry Doyle, to a generation of fans we will forever be known as Mr. Garibaldi, the acerbic and capable security chief of Babylon 5. News broke Wednesday that the actor and talk show host was found unresponsive in his Las Vegas home Wednesday afternoon after friends were unable to get a hold of him on the phone.
Doyle left a job on Wall Street in 1991 to move to Hollywood and be an actor. He had guest roles in numerous series, but his most memorable was his five-year run on Babylon 5, where he appeared through all five seasons, and in several of the Babylon 5 TV-movies. Since the end of B5 though, Doyle changed careers again, getting into talk radio and even running for Congress to represent the 24th district of California in 2000, which was notable for the fact that Doyle didn’t spend a dime on his campaign.
But for the purposes of Nerd Bastards, it’s Doyle’s standing as one of the stars of what is arguably the most influential sci-fi series of the last 25 years that makes us honour him today. “Jerry was a consummate professional,” said B5 creator J. Michael Straczynski in a statement. “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.”
Doyle’s co-star Bruce Boxleitner also responded to the news:
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 the fourth major cast member from Babylon 5 to pass after Richard Biggs (Dr. Stephen Franklin) in 2004, Andreas Katsulas (Ambassador G’Kar) in 2006, and Michael O’Hare (Cmdr. Jeffrey Sinclair) in 2012. It’s worth noting that Doyle is the only cast member to appear in the first episode of Babylon 5, the TV-movie pilot “The Gathering”, and in the last, the direct-to-video Babylon 5: The Lost Tales.
Jerry Doyle was only 60 years old, and is survived by one child.