Terry Carter as Col. Tigh {image via Glen Larson productions}

Terry Carter, who starred in the original Battlestar Galactica as Colonel Tigh, Commander Adama’s friend and Executive Officer, has died at the age of 95. The Emmy Award winning actor was born and died in New York City, NY, USA. Carter was born Dec. 16, 1928. He died in his own home, April 23, 2024. In between he forged a legend as he appeared on TV, on Broadway, and in films.

Like Nichelle Nichols as Star Trek‘s Lt. Uhura. he broke several barriers. In 1956, he was one of the first Black actors to be a sitcom regular and not play a domestic servant or a thug. Carter played Private Sugarman in The Phil Silvers Show. Born John Everett DeCoste , Carter became the first Black TV news anchor for Boston’s WBZ-TV Eyewitness News, where he also became their first opening night drama and movie critic. For some time he was the first and only Black news anchor in the New England area, and one of the first, if not the first Black TV newsanchor in the US.

If not for a broken ankle, Carter might have been the oldest Viper pilot in the Colonial fleet. He was originally considered for the role of Lt. Boomer. After he broke his ankle roller skating, the role of Boomer was offered to Herbert Jefferson, Jr., and the producers decided Carter was better suited to the role of Colonel Tigh, Adama’s wily XO.

He appeared in several Blaxploitation films, most notably Foxy Brown (1974). He co-starred with Mark Hamill in Hamilton (1998) where he played CIA Chief Texas Slim and Hamill played ex-CIA agent Mike Hawkins. Carter had a recurring role on the Norwegian soap opera Hotel Ceasar as an Ethiopian businessman. He appeared in Company of Killers (1970) and Benji (1974). He worked several times in Scandinavia, not only filming Hamilton and Hotel Caesar in Norway, but producing and directing Jazz Masters for Danish TV.

Terry Carter and Dennis Weaver in McCloud (1970) — Carteer’s second best known role as a TV actor was as Detective Joe Broadhurst on McCloud.

Carter was also a producer and director. He was widely acclaimed for his documentary work. He produced and directed the Emmy-nominated TV musical documentary A Duke Named Ellington, about the jazz titan in 1998. In 1985, Carter was awarded a Los Angeles Emmy for K*I*D*S, a TV miniseries he created, directed and produced about a diverse group of teenagers who struggle to navigate the intense conflicts confronting American youth at the time. In 1992 he made a documentary for PBS: Katherine Dunham: Dancing with Life about the famous Black dancer/choreographer.

In 1979, Terry Caerter founded a nonprofit organization, the Council for Positive Images, which worked on enhancing intercultural and interethnic understanding through audiovisual communication.

.Carter served two terms on the board of Governors of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He was inducted in 1983 into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and he served on the documentary committee and the foreign films committee for the Oscars.”

Carter was twice widowed and is survived by his wife Etaferhu Zenebe-DeCoste, and his two children Miguel and Melinda, to whom we offer our comfort and condolences. Other survivors include Mrs. Zenebe-DeCoste’s daughter, a granddaughter, and many cousins. Twice widowed, he was preceded in death by his late wives Anna DeCoste (1964–1990) and Beate Glatved DeCoste.

Terry Carter as Col. Tigh, Herbert Jefferson as Lt. Boomer {image via Glen Larson Productions}


Susan Macdonald
Susan Macdonald

Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as 26 short stories, mostly fantasy in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress ”, Swords &Sorceries Vols. 1, 2, & 5, “Cat Tails” “Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions,  Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.