Actor Cliff Simon, best known for playing the villain Ba’al on the “Stargate SG-1” television series, died on March 9 in a kiteboarding accident.
His wife Collette reported his death on his Facebook page, writing “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 12:30 p.m. on March 9. He was at Topanga Beach 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.’
“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.”
Born in South Africa, Simon competed in both swimming and gymnastics. After moving to Britain, he qualified as a swimmer for the British International Olympic squad in 1984. Although he was offered scholarships to continue his athletic career, he returned to South Africa, where he enlisted in the Air Force.
After leaving the Air Force, Simon found work teaching windsurfing and water-skiing at a resort, where he was recruited to join a stage show. He performed around the world as a gymnast, then became a dancer at the Moulin Rouge in Paris. He wrote a book based on his experiences, called “Paris Nights: My Year at the Moulin Rouge.”
Returning from Paris, Simon was cast in the South African TV series “Egoli – Place of Gold” before moving to Hollywood. After a guest spot on “Nash Bridges,” he won the role of “Ba’al,” in “Stargate SG-1” in its fifth season in 2001. His character became so popular, that he remained through the show’s tenth season and final season.
In 2008, the Malibu resident returned to the role for the 2008 Stargate SG1 movie, “Continuum.” Simon also guest starred on “Castle,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “NCIS: New Orleans,” “The Americans,” “Days of Our Lives” and “24.”
“Stargate SG-1” co-star Suanne Braun wrote on Twitter that she is “utterly, utterly heartbroken” and said, “the world won’t be the same.”
On Collette Simon’s Facebook page, she wrote: “I will end with this verse which Cliff loved and lived his life by:
“I would rather be ashes than dust!
“I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry rot.
“I would rather be a super meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet,
“The proper function of man is to live, not to exist.
“I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.”