STARGATE’s Carmen Argenziano Dead at 75

Carmen Argenziano, perhaps best known among fandom for his role on Stargate SG-1, has passed away at age 75.

The news comes via representatives at Event Horizon Talent, Argenziano’s personal appearance agency. No cause of death has been disclosed. He is survived by his wife, Lisa, and his three children.

Argenziano began his career in the 1960s, with guest appearances on shows like KojakColumboPolice Woman, The Bionic Woman, and The Rockford Files, just to name a few. In 1974, he played one of Michael Corleone’s henchmen in The Godfather: Part II. Over the years, his work took him into genre with The Powers of Matthew StarThe Greatest American Hero, and Knight Rider 2000.

On the Bablyon 5 episode “Knives”, Argenziano played Urza Jaddo, an old friend of Londo Mollari.

But genre fans will remember him for his recurring role as Jacob Carter/Selmak on Stargate SG-1, a role that was supposed to end almost as soon as it started. According to GateWorld, the show’s writers had considered killing off the character in season two, but decided instead to make Jacob the new host for Selmak, one of the leaders of the Tok’ra — and Argenziano ended up in twenty-five episodes with one of the longest-running recurring roles.

“This series has been wonderful for me,” he said. “More people recognize me as Jacob Carter than any other character I’ve played. I have a wonderful affinity for old Jacob.”

In one of two interviews with GateWorld, he said Stargate “brought me a recognition that I’ve never had before with the wonderful fan base and the conventions, and meeting people whose lives have been so wonderfully, positively influenced by the show.” He went on to say, “By what we do. By what we bring to them and their lives. That’s the whole reason we become actors, or at least I did, is to influence people’s lives in a positive way. To give them hope. To let them identify with what’s possible, who they are, what they may become.”

Argenziano said his favorite episode was “The Tok’ra, Part 2”, in which Jacob becomes the new host for Selmak. His second favorite was “Threads”, where his character died a hero’s death.

His on-screen daughter, Amanda Tapping, took to Twitter with her reaction to the news:

Argenziano told GateWorld, that his was the career of a “journeyman” actor. “I remember an old acting teacher that told me, ‘Drama is revelation,’” he said. “The more you work on a role or character the more you discover about him. And in some cases there is self-discovery, too.”

Jason P. Hunt

Jason P. Hunt (founder/EIC) is the author of the sci-fi novella "The Hero At the End Of His Rope". His short film "Species Felis Dominarus" was a finalist in the Sci Fi Channel's 2007 Exposure competition.

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