Robin Sachs has died at the age of 61 of undisclosed causes. He is perhaps best known as his recurring role as Ethan Rayne on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Whedonesque shared the news yesterday, linking to Sachs’ Official fansite. In addition to Buffy, his credits included Babylon 5, Galaxy Quest, Torchwood: Miracle Day, and Star Trek Voyager, as well as many more.
He appeared in four episodes during Buffy’s seven seasons:
Halloween: residents of Sunnydale become what they’re wearing in the first of several Halloween episodes. Xander, dressed as a soldier, becomes instantly knowledgeable about weapons and tactics, which comes in handy in later episodes. Buffy is a helpless damsel in an 18th century dress, and Willow is a ghost who can walk through walls. They discover that the costume shop where they acquired their garments is owned by Ethan Rayne, Giles’ old buddy. He calls Giles “Ripper,” indicating that there’s more to Giles than we’ve learned thus far.
The Dark Age: a friend from Giles’ past turns up dead, and the Scoobies learn that the bad crowd that he ran with in his younger days now bear the Mark of Eyghon, which means that when dead or unconscious they can be possessed. Ethan, desperate to avoid the fate of the others, places the mark on Buffy to direct the demon toward her. Jenny Calendar ultimately becomes its host, but quick thinking by Angel results in the demon’s defeat.
Band Candy: Ethan Rayne is in charge of a factory that produces chocolate bars. These are then used for fundraising by students of Sunnydale High, but the adults who consume them suddenly begin acting like children. Buffy’s mom and Giles spend some time together, acting like a couple of rebellious teens on the streets of Sunnydale. We later learn in the episode Earshot that they had sex on a police car.
A New Man: Giles encounters Ethan Rayne again, and the two share a chat and some drinks. Much to Giles’ dismay, however, he wakes up the following morning as a demon. That’s some killer hangover! Unable to communicate with his friends, he finds an unlikely helper in Spike, who can understand the demonic language Giles is using. Ethan Rayne is arrested, marking his final appearance in the Buffy television show.
Robin Sachs leaves behind two dogs, Fiona and Tiny, who are now in need of a home. Click here to learn more about them. They are being kept in Los Angeles animal shelter currently.
Farewell, Ethan Rayne. You were always a formidable adversary to the Ripper.