The actor Cliff Simon, who was best known for his role as the villain Ba’al on Stargate SG-1, died Tuesday in a kiteboarding accent at age 58.
The South African–born actor’s death was announced on Thursday by his wife Collette on his Facebook page.
‘To Friends, family and fans, It is with unimaginable heartbreak that I am sharing with you, that my beloved husband, Cliff Simon, passed away at 12:30pm on Tuesday March 9, 2021,’ she began her somber note.
Tragic accident: Cliff Simon, best known as the villain Ba’al on Stargate SG-1, died Tuesday of a kiteboarding accident in Topanga Beach, California, at 58
‘He was at Topanga Beach, California and sadly passed away after a tragic kiteboarding accident. He was known to most of you on this page as the villain you loved to hate, Ba’al, from Stargate SG-1. But as he said, “acting is what I do, it’s only a part of who I am,”‘ she continued.
‘And he was SO much more — a true original, an adventurer, a sailor, swimmer, dancer, actor, author. There is a gaping hole where he once stood on this earth. He was loved by too many to mention and had a great impact on so many lives. He was an amazing and much loved brother, uncle, nephew, cousin and friend.’
Simon began his most sustained role as the Stargate SG-1 villain Ba’al during the series’ fifth season through its tenth and final season, from 2001 to 2007.
The character, who appeared in 15 episodes, became a hit with fans thank to his witty demeanor and the character’s fleshed-out motivations.
Tribute: Simon’s wife Collette announced his death on Thursday with a note on his Facebook page, in which she called him ‘a true original, an adventurer, a sailor, swimmer, dancer, actor, author’; seen together in 2014
Shocking loss: ‘There is a gaping hole where he once stood on this earth. He was loved by too many to mention and had a great impact on so many lives,’ his wife wrote
Biggest role: Simon began his most sustained role as the Stargate SG-1 villain Ba’al during the series’ fifth season through its tenth and final season, from 2001 to 2007; still from Stargate: Continuum
In a 2005 interview with The Sci-Fi World, Simon claimed that he met with the Stargate SG-1 producers eight months before the character Ba’al was created.
As he told it, the meeting went so well that the executive producers, Robert C. Cooper and Brad Wright, decided to keep Simon on hold for about eight months until they had created Ba’al to match his abilities.
The series was a spin-off of the 1994 science fiction film Stargate, in which the United States government discovers the title devices, which can transport users to other worlds in the blink of an eye.
Simon was such a hit with fans that he was brought back for the film Stargate: Continuum to wrap up the series, even though most of the characters of his race were no longer featured on the series by the end.
Tailored for him: Simon claimed to The Sci-Fi World in 2005 that the show’s producers liked him so much that they waited to cast him until they came up with the character Ba’al to take advantage of his charm
Simon was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, to Jewish parents from Poland and Lithuania.
He was a star swimmer as a young man, and he continued to pursue his Olympic goals after moving with his family to the UK in 1975.
In the mid-1980s he moved to the US to continue his training, but he later returned to South Africa and enlisted in the country’s Air Force.
The future actor focused on his passion for water sports after leaving the Air Force by teaching water-skiing and windsurfing.
He later performed as a gymnast and then as a dancer at the Moulin Rouge in Paris,
Sports star: The future actor was a star athlete in South Africa before moving to the UK to pursue his dreams of being an Olympic swimmer; seen in 2014
Simon began to pursue acting roles in his native country with a role on the series Egoli – Place of Gold, but he moved to Los Angeles in 2000 for bigger parts.
His first American role was a guest spot on Nash Bridges in 2000, and his role as Ba’al followed shortly afterward.
He appeared on other popular crime procedurals, including NCIS: New Orleans and Castle, as well as the soap Days Of Our Lives.
He also had a two-episode arc on FX’s critically acclaimed series The Americans.
Hit show: He had multiple guest roles after moving to the US in 2000, including a two-episode arc on FX’s critically acclaimed series The Americans