I admit the headline is probably not that original and hopelessly overused in the context of Babylon 5 just as most of you might already have heard of Stephen Furst‘s passing, but aside from mere practical issues this time it really took me a bit of time to come to grips with that news and forge a few words of remembrance.
Sadly, this even hits a few chords with my own life, since one of my own grandpas died at 63, too, after years of suffering from heavy diabetes, renal issues and multiple heart seizures. Of course there’s always a certain inevitability to it and Furst was known for his struggle with diabetes from a young age even when B5 was still filming, but him being one of the younger members of the regular cast he had such a great presence and influence which makes this even harder. He was so integral to some episodes, whole storylines would have collapsed without him.
First off, for all intents and purposes he was Londo‘s better half in every way. His assistant, his servant, his confidant, his conscience and yes, ultimately his best friend. The chemistry between the two was really at times like a married couple and his comedic talent played out well in these situations. The other big part was the fine art of mediating. He somehow was constantly busy smoothing over rough spots and dents others made or sorting out some ruckus. In the end he was almost as powerful as Londo without ever realizing his potential. He was just too modest, subtle and kind for that.
It’s really strange – the more you think about it, the more depressing it gets. I almost feel like when Andreas Katsulas passed on, another of those great, kind-hearted guys that made Babylon 5 such a wonderful series. *sigh*