For Farscape fans in Chicagoland and the Great Lakes area.

Aug 1

Jonny, We Hardly Knew Ye!

Category: Farscape Alumni

Jonathan Hardy passed away a few days ago. Farscape fans knew him as the voice of Rygel, a character he made lasting and memorable.  Rygel, a creature driven by inestimable self-interest and greed, always giving in to his baser instincts, yet capable of surprising heroism. epitomized the vast depth of characters on Farscape. Although, strictly speaking, he was created by the Muppet Shop out of latex, and it took a small crowd of muppeteers to manipulate him, it was Jonathan Hardy who gave him his Falstaffian proportion. .

Farscape fans knew Mr. Hardy as a sweet, chubby cheeked, beetle-browed raconteur. He had a long career, which provided him with an endless trove of stories to regale audiences with, and was seemingly always happy to greet and interact with his fans, who only knew him as the voice of Rygel, and affectionately considered him a real life counterpart to the Dominar. Yet, as I scrubbed through his resume on IMDB, I was astonished to discover that he was the screenplay author of Breaker Morant (nominated for an Oscar for best writing), and had played a character in the first Mad Max movie. The Farscape production team was always quick to tell fans about how distinguished a talent Jonathon Hardy was, and I would say that having an Oscar nomination under his belt pretty well proves it.

He will be sorely missed, as an actor of many parts, as the soul of Rygel, and as a twinkling star in the Farscape firmanent.

Read more, including a fascinating account of how Jonathan came to be cast as Rygel, from Richard Manning, a co-producer and writer for Farscape.

You can hear an interview with Jonathan Hardy about characterizing Rygel from a 2009 scifi convention in New Zealand here, and you can hear his version of how he got the role.

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