Mark Hamill, famous for his role as Luke Skywalker, is a science fiction icon at the heart of everything we hold dear as science fiction fans. He’s 71 today.
He’s been nominated for a Saturn Award FIVE times, and won three times. All of his Saturn wins and four of his nominations were for playing Luke Skywalker. He has also won the BAFTA, the Emmy, and the BTVA Awards.
The Many Voices of Mark Hamill
In the 21st century Mark Hamill is best known as a voice actor. He is most famous for his interpretation of the Joker in various DC cartoons. More than a third of his over 300 acting credits are for cartoons or video games.
Hamill’s first screen credit was for the role of Kent Murray in General Hospital in 1972.
Although Hamill was a working actor in Hollywood before taking the role of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope in 1977, everything changed after its release. Before Star Wars, he had a lot of small parts on TV, like The Bill Cosby Show, The Partridge Family, and Cannon.
It was the role of Luke Skywalker that made Mark Hamill a household name. He has become one of the main faces of the sci-fi world and a universal mascot for geeks everywhere.
Since then he’s had more than 350 acting credits, as everything from the voice of Corey Anders in the animated Jeannie (the animated I Dream of Jeannie), to the Trickster in the live-action Flash TV series, a leading role in the Wing Commander games as Christopher ‘Maverick’ Blair, and even Avatar: The Last Airbender as the voice of Firelord Kozai. Think of an animated show or series you remember fondly, and chances are pretty good he was in it.
Mark Hamill’s voice roles range from Turtle in Disney’s My Friends Tigger and Pooh, Arnim Zola and Red Skull, Kavaxas in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and several guest roles on Scooby-Doo.
[su_note note_color=”#66d4ff” radius=”8″]He did all his own stunts in Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983) — except two places: where Luke Skywalker jumps off the plank into the Sarlaac, turns, and flips back onto the plank and on the Death Star when Darth Vader throws his lightsaber at the supports of the catwalk. According to “The Making of Return of the Jedi” by John Philip Peecher (c. 1983), his stunt double, Colin Skeaping, performed both of these stunts.[/su_note]
Honors follow Hamill in a sort of shiny cloud. In 2018, Hamill was honored by the entertainment community with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The year before, in 2017, Disney inducted him as a Disney Legend. His former home town, San Diego, named a street after him the same year.
Mark Hamill and his wife Marilou will celebrate their 43rd wedding anniversary in December. They have three children, two sons and a daughter.
We wish you a happy birthday, Mark, and all the happiness life may bring.
May the Force be with you.
In this clip from Justice League Action, Mark Hamill is kidnapped by the Joker and the Trickster and uses his talents as a voice actor to escape. Every voice in this four character piece is Mark Hamill.
Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as 26 short stories, mostly fantasy in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, Swords &Sorceries Vols. 1, 2, & 5, “Cat Tails” “Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions, Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.