The actor died on Tuesday, March 9 after a tragic kiteboarding accident at Topanga Beach in Malibu, according to a post by Cliff Simon's wife Colette on his Facebook page. She requested privacy for their family in the wake of his tragic passing, but also shared the "saving grace" of her husband's death:
A small saving grace to this tragedy is that he was doing one of the things he loved most and passed away on the beach near the water, which was his temple. I know this is a shock and will hit hard but we hope you can respect our need for privacy at this time.
Cliff Simon's wife described her late husband as "a true original, an adventurer, a sailor, swimmer, dancer, actor, author." Simon was a native of South Africa who made a name for himself in showbiz thanks to his role as Lord Ba'al in 15 episodes of Stargate SG-1 between Seasons 5-10. GateWorld reports that when he was younger, he had the goal of swimming in the 1984 Olympics before joining the Air Force. He went on to study drama and begin modeling before moving to the U.S. to try and further his acting career.
The first role on a high-profile TV show that Cliff Simon landed in the United States was an episode of Nash Bridges in 2000. His big Stargate franchise break came in 2001 with his first episode as Ba'al, and he would reprise the role 14 times and turn Ba'al into the longest-running Stargate villain.
Following Stargate SG-1, Cliff Simon went on to appear in Stargate: Continuum, 24, NCIS: Los Angeles, Days of Our Lives, NCIS (as a different character than he played on NCIS: LA), NCIS: New Orleans (as yet another NCIS franchise character), and Personal Space. Most recently, he hosted Into the Unknown for Travel Channel. In the wake of his passing, others from the Stargate family took to social media with tributes to Simon, including SG-1 writer and showrunner Joseph Mallozzi:
Another person who took to Twitter to share their feelings about the death of Cliff Simon after working together on Stargate SG-1 is actress Simone Bailly, who shared some episodes of SG-1 with Simon while playing a character named Ka'lel:
Another Stargate veteran with warm words for Cliff Simon following his death is Peter Kelamis, who appeared in two episodes of Stargate SG-1 before taking on a more prominent role on Stargate Universe. Kelamis posted:
Our thoughts here at CinemaBlend are with Cliff Simon's family, friends, and loved ones in this difficult time. If you want to revisit Cliff Simon's days as the fan-favorite Ba'al, you can find all ten seasons of Stargate SG-1 streaming on both Netflix and Hulu now.