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‘Battlestar Galactica’ actor Terry Carter dead at 95

The late actor also directed specials for PBS and a TV movie about jazz legend Duke Ellington
Terry Carter
Terry Carter (Photo credit: Bang Media)

Boundary-smashing “Battlestar Galactica” actor Terry Carter has died at 95.

The star — renowned for being the first Black man to become a series regular on a TV sitcom in the 1950s — passed peacefully at his home, his son told The New York Times on April 23.


Carter’s website says a private funeral has been planned for his close family.

The actor’s groundbreaking TV role, making him the first Black man to be a repeat star on a sitcom, came with him playing Private Sugarman on “The Phil Rivers Show.”


He appeared for 92 episodes from 1955 to 1959, and followed the feat by becoming the first Black TV news anchor from 1965 to 1968 for WBZ-TV’s “Eyewitness News” in Boston.

His other notable roles came in 1970’s Company of Killers, but he is perhaps best known by more modern audiences for portraying Colonel Tigh in ABC’s sci-fi series “Battlestar Galactica” in the 70s.

In 1979, Carter formed the Council for Positive Images, a non-profit group that helps enhance intercultural and interethnic understanding through audiovisual communication.

He also directed documentary specials for PBS that focused on historical and cultural topics.

In 1980, he served two terms on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and worked with the Documentary Committee and Foreign Films Committee for the Oscars.

His awards include a Los Angeles Emmy Award for his involvement in the TV miniseries, “K*I*D*S,” which features multi-racial young teenagers dealing with conflicts.

In 1988, he produced and directed a TV movie on jazz icon Duke Ellington.

Carter later retired and went back to live at an apartment in New York where it is understood he died.

He lived with his third wife Etaferhu Zenebe-DeCoste and his two children Miguel and Melinda. He also lived with his wife’s daughter, granddaughter, and cousins.

Carter’s two marriages were Anna DeCoste from 1964 to 1990 and Beate Glatved DeCoste, from 1991 to 2006.

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