Donnelly Rhodes, 'The Flash' and 'Soap' Actor, Dies at 80

ABC/Photofest
Donnelly Rhodes with 'Soap' cast

The Canadian character actor played the hapless escaped con Dutch Leitner on the ABC soap opera spoof series and Doc Cottle on 'Battlestar Galactica.'

Canadian actor Donnelly Rhodes, best known for character roles like the hapless escaped con Dutch Leitner on ABC's soap opera spoof Soap and Doc Sherman Cottle on Battlestar Galactica, has died. He was 80.

Rhodes died Jan. 8 after a battle with cancer at the Baillie House Hospice in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, according to a statement from the Northern Exposure talent agency. Rhodes' other major TV credits include Vancouver-shot series like The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Da Vinci’s Inquest and Tron: Legacy.

Rhodes was born Dec. 4, 1937, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and first tried his hand in theater while in the Royal Canadian Air Force. After studying at the Manitoba Theatre Center and the National Theatre School, he joined the Stratford Festival in 1963, where he played Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire.

After roles on varied CBC TV series, Rhodes went to Hollywood and became a contract player for Universal Pictures, where he appeared in movies like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and TV series like Wagon Train, Dr. Kildare, Golden Girls and Mission Impossible. In 1973, Rhodes boarded the American soap opera The Young and the Restless.

That was followed by a stint on the CBC crime drama Sidestreets back in Canada. His other major roles included Dr. Grant Roberts on Danger Bay and Detective Leo Shannon on the CBC drama Da Vinci's Inquest.

Rhodes also had recurring roles on another CBC drama, Street Legal, and on Battlestar Galactica as Dr. Cottle from 2004 to 2009. Battlestar Galactica writer-producer Ronald Moore on his Twitter account expressed his sadness at Rhodes' passing, writing: "He was a lovely man and I so enjoyed writing for him. Admired his work ever since Soap. He will be missed."

Fellow Battlestar Galactica actor Tricia Helfer added on her Twitter account: "Saddened to hear of Donnelly Rhodes passing. Loved working with him on BSG. A lovely man who made a terrific Doc Cottle. RIP."