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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i've recently started re-watching babylon 5 and his performances are top-notch in it. sad news, and relatively young too :-( i wasn't aware he was the baddie in galaxy quest either, a good role and a great film. i'll raise a toast later this evening.

I remember him on Buffy. They could have done even more with the character.

Sarris was a brilliant character in Galaxy Quest. For a comedy, he was a very effective villain!

I agree. Definitely one of my 2 favorite underrated villains next to Charles Dance as Benedict in Last Action Hero.

I recently rewatched the whole of Babylon 5. Sachs was always great in it, and often played multiple role (a Narn one week, a Minbari the next). As Ethan Rayne he was a good counterpoint to Giles. And as Sarris in Galaxy Quest he was so much fun. The moment where Tim Allen has just asked him how he's doing, and he replies "better than my lieutenant" whilst holding up his head on a pike was delivered with humour.
It is such a shame. Sympathies to his friends and family.

It's true - for a character (and an unrepentant villain at that) who only appeared in four episodes, Ethan Rayne had a lot of depth and complexity. Sachs brought a sort of charming menace to the role that made it very memorable.

I honestly had not connected Sach's with Sarris! Not surprising really considering the makeup fx (although was that actually Sachs in body not just voice?)

Sachs Was the voice of "Boxoffice AQmerica" that used to be on ITV in the smaal hours of the morning relating that weeks Top !0 US movies. In the days before the Internet really took off, this was my main sneak peak at what was coming over the pond to us.....I even recall the episode where he annouced his part in Jurasic Park 2, and showing his clip on the beach at the start of the film....RIP Robin

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