RIP Steven Furst, Babylon 5’s Vir Cotto

Let’s face it, science fiction television tends to attract some different actors than your traditional, bigger budget shows. Most of the budget on sci-fi shows will go to the special effects and keeping the damned thing afloat while it hemorrhages viewers. So it goes.

Yet, Babylon 5, with its limited budget and its mostly character actors that had zero real profile in Hollywood, put forth some amazing performances and really helped the characters to not just come to life, but to become some of the most memorable in the realm of science fiction.

One such actor was Steven Furst, whom has passed away. The man behind the modest, anxious and uncomfortable Vir Cotto was able to take a character that was simply an underling and make him feel like so much more. His struggles, his growth, the little bits of confidence or those rare moments when he chose to defy Londo or his people to do what he felt was right. Now what they told him was right, but what he had felt was the right thing to do.

The character popped and while the character grew into a more dynamic person, you couldn’t help but feel that Furst’s dedication to the role, his mannerisms, speech and vision for what Vir should be helped to drive that character.

So no, Vir didn’t have epic story arcs like Londo, Sinclair, Sheridan, Delenn or G’Kar, but if he wasn’t one of the most memorable parts of the show then I’ll be damned. Vir wasn’t a powerful man, he wasn’t the epic hero, but he was a guy that did his best for those around him and persevered to become the change that he wanted in the world, and Steven Furst helped to make that magical.