Richard Lynch
Richard Hugh Lynch

(1940-02-12)February 12, 1940
Brooklyn, New York City, U.S.
DiedJune 19, 2012(2012-06-19) (aged 72)
Other namesRichard H. Lynch
Alma materThe Actors Studio,
HB Studio
Years active1967–2012
Spouse(s)Béatrix Lynch
Lily Lynch
FamilyBarry Lynch (brother)
AwardsSaturn Award for Best Supporting Actor (1982)

Richard Lynch (February 12, 1940 – June 19, 2012) was an American actor best known for portraying villains in films and television.

His film credits included The Sword and the Sorcerer, Invasion USA, The Seven-Ups, Scarecrow, Little Nikita, Bad Dreams, God Told Me To, and Halloween. He appeared in science fiction productions, including Battlestar Galactica (as Wolfe) and its sequel series Galactica 1980 (as Commander Xaviar). He also appeared in such shows as Starsky and Hutch, Baretta, T. J. Hooker, Blue Thunder, Airwolf, The A-Team, Charmed and Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Early life and career

Richard Hugh Lynch was born on February 12, 1940[1][2] (sometimes incorrectly cited as 1936) in Brooklyn, New York City to Catholic parents of Irish descent. Richard Lynch served in the United States Marine Corps for four years.[2] His younger brother is actor Barry Lynch.

Lynch's distinct scarred appearance made him a popular nemesis, and he can be seen in more than 160 film and television performances. The scars came from a 1967 incident in New York's Central Park in which, under the influence of drugs, he set himself on fire, burning more than 70% of his body.[3] He spent a year in recovery, gave up drug use and ultimately began training at The Actors Studio and at the HB Studio. In 1970, he co-starred with Robert De Niro, Sally Kirkland and Diane Ladd in the short-lived off-Broadway play One Night Stands of a Noisy Passenger, written by Shelley Winters.[4] He often played a villain in features, including Scarecrow, which marked his film debut, The Seven-Ups, Bad Dreams, The Sword and the Sorcerer, and Little Nikita.

In 1982, Lynch won a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as the evil King Cromwell in The Sword and the Sorcerer.[5] Although Richard Lynch is best known for playing villains, he was cast as the president of the United States in the 2007 film Mil Mascaras vs. the Aztec Mummy.[6][7] Lynch starred alongside Judson Scott in the 1982 short-lived science fiction TV series The Phoenix.

In addition to acting, Lynch was a musician, and he played the saxophone, guitar, piano, and flute. He held Irish citizenship through his Irish-born parents and was a frequent visitor to Ireland. He starred together with brother Barry in the films Nightforce and Total Force. Lynch's wife Lily starred with him in the film Breaking the Silence (1998) and son Christopher Lynch appeared with him in the science fiction film Trancers II. In 1977, Richard Lynch shared the stage with actor Al Pacino, a close friend, in the Broadway play The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel. Lynch played a Vietnam veteran who used a wheelchair, and was nominated for a Tony in 1977.

Through the years, Lynch worked with friend and colleague Don Calfa in the films Necronomicon (1993), Toughguy (1995), Corpses Are Forever (2003), and Lewisburg (2009).

Later life and death

Lynch married twice — once to Béatrix Lynch (their son Christopher died in 2005 from pneumonia), and later to Lily Lynch.[8]

Lynch's body was found in his home in Yucca Valley, California on June 19, 2012. It is not known if Lynch died on June 18 or June 19. After not having heard from Lynch for several days, friend and actress Carol Vogel went to his home to find the door open and his body in his kitchen.[9][10] The cause of death was given as a heart attack.[1] He was survived by his brother Barry and two sisters, Carole Taylor and Cathy Jones.[2] Some news reports following his death incorrectly identified his birth year as 1936, but the obituary in the Los Angeles Times published by his family correctly listed the year as 1940.[2]





Patrick Loubatière. Richard Lynch Forever (2013).


  1. ^ a b "PASSINGS: Richard Lynch". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on July 11, 2012. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d "Richard Lynch obituary". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  3. ^ "Lynch Got Second Chance". Times Daily (Florence, Alabama). March 17, 1971. Archived from the original on May 7, 2016. Retrieved June 20, 2015.
  4. ^ "One Night Stands of a Noisy Passenger - Lortel Archives". Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  5. ^ "Past Saturn Awards". Saturn Awards. Archived from the original on February 9, 2010. Retrieved February 5, 2008 – via
  6. ^ Gibron, Bill (October 23, 2008). "Mil Mascaras: Resurrection (2007)". PopMatters. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  7. ^ Simpson, MJ. "Mil Mascaras: Resurrection". Archived from the original on January 23, 2009.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  8. ^ "Actor Richard Lynch dies at 76". Variety. Associated Press. June 20, 2012. Archived from the original on July 14, 2018. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  9. ^ ""Halloween" actor Richard Lynch dies aged 76". Reuters. June 21, 2012.
  10. ^ "Actor Richard Lynch dies at 76". Variety. June 20, 2012.
  11. ^ "Interview: Rob Zombie talks The Lords of Salem". Daily Dead. Archived from the original on March 19, 2013. Retrieved February 10, 2013.