Robin Sachs 1951 - 2013

News Louisa Mellor
6 Feb 2013 - 15:37

Robin Sachs, the English actor known and loved for roles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Galaxy Quest, and Babylon 5 has passed away...

Inspiring warmth and devotion from viewers on the basis of just four appearances in a television programme is quite something, and that’s exactly what Robin Sachs was to fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

In the role of Buffy’s Ethan Rayne, Rupert Giles’ mischievous, dark arts-dabbling friend from his ‘Ripper’ days, Sachs made such an impression that many of the tributes following the news of his death have focused disproportionately on the role. It’s hard not to. It would however, be selling Sachs’ extremely short not to place those four episodes of Buffy in context of a forty-year screen and stage career.

Working backwards, Sachs spent much of the last decade providing voices for video games for franchises including Star Wars, Dragon Age, Kane & Lynch and notably, Mass Effect. Prior to that was a steady parade of TV roles in geek favourites including Babylon 5, Star Trek: Voyager and Buffy, as well as film roles in Galaxy Quest, Jurassic Park II and Ocean’s Eleven. Though he wasn't always instantly recognisable underneath the make-up and prosthetics required for some of his characters (Galaxy Quest's Sarris in particular), his voice was his trademark, and part of what made him such an attractive package to the US television audience.

Sachs was a regular presence on British television throughout the seventies and eighties, with guest roles in the likes of UK stalwarts The Bill and Rumpole of the Bailey, before he crossed the pond to do the same in the US, taking his British accent to the animated Fantastic Four series as the Silver Surfer, amongst others.

The news of 61-year-old Sachs’ unexpected death arrived via his official website yesterday, along with the fond message, “Please join us in raising a glass to Robin – goodbye, dear friend”.

Our thoughts, as ever, go to his family and friends. 


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