Veteran Science Fiction Actor Alan Scarfe Dies At 77

Alan Scarfe ("Poisoning the Well")

Alan Scarfe (“Poisoning the Well”)

The veteran British Canadian actor Alan Scarfe, who guest starred in a memorable episode of Stargate Atlantis, has died at the age of 77.

Scarfe played Chancellor Druhin, leader of the Hoffans, in the first-season episode “Poisoning the Well.” Druhin led his people in taking an experimental treatment that killed any Wraith that tried to feed on them … knowing that the drug had a 50 percent mortality rate.

Although his guest spot was brief, he told The Scifi World that “it was an interesting character with an interesting and all too common problem. It was a nice group of young actors to work with.”

Scarfe was a classically trained actor of stage and screen, with a distinctive voice and gravitas. On Star Trek: The Next Generation he played the Romulan Admiral Mendak, who had a stare-down with Captain Picard over a Romulan spy posing as a Vulcan (“Data’s Day”). He returned for the two-parter “Birthright” as another Romulan, Tokath, who was living in a colony where Romulans had held Klingon prisoners for a generation — and where Tokath himself had married a Klingon woman.

In a twist of irony, Scarfe himself was married to the actress behind the Klingon Lursa, Barbara March. They met at Stratford (where he was Associate Director in the 1970s) and were married from 1979 until her death in 2019, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Fans of Scarfe’s work will also remember him as a series regular, Dr. Bradley Talmadge, on the UPN sci-fi drama Seven Days. His credits also include MacGyver, Alien Nation, Quantum Leap, Andromeda, Babylon 5: The Lost Tales, and more.

Alan Scarfe (Seven Days)

Alan Scarfe as Dr. Bradley Talmadge on the time-travel series Seven Days (UPN)

On the big screen Scarfe played villains in Double Impact (with Jean-Claude Van Damme) and Lethal Weapon III (with Mel Gibson). But he said that he was most proud of his work in smaller, independent films like Deserters and The Hamster Cage.

“Science fiction on film and television, especially if you are playing some kind of alien character with fantastic make-up, is great for actors with a strong stage background,” he told The Scifi World. “The productions need that kind of size and intensity of performance. You can’t really mumble if you’re a Klingon.”

Alan Scarfe was born in Harpenden, England, and emigrated to Canada with his family, settling in Vancouver. He returned to England to study the dramatic arts, and launched a stage career spanning more than 100 major roles in theatres across Europe, Canada, and the United States. He was also a prolific stage director before moving to work in film and television.

The endlessly creative actor and director also wrote several screenplays, and in his later years he published four novels.

He passed away April 28 of colon cancer at his home in Longueuil, Quebec, according to an announcement posted by his family. We wish them the best in their time of grieving, and celebrate Alan Scarfe’s remarkable career and the gift of his performances in so many of our favorite shows.

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