Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Star Wars actor LeParmentier dies

Richard LeParmentier has died at the age of 66

Star Wars actor Richard LeParmentier, best known as the young Death Star commander who had an encounter with Darth Vader, has died at the age of 66.

The US actor, who was based in the UK, died unexpectedly while visiting his children in Austin, Texas, according to his publicist Derek Maki. The cause of his death has not been revealed.

Richard was born in Pittsburgh, but moved to Britain in 1974 and had been living in Bath when he died.

As Admiral Motti in 1977's Star Wars: A New Hope, Richard's character mocks Vader's "sad devotion to that ancient Jedi religion". Vader responds with a demonstration, using the Force to choke the young commander, but allowing him to live.

Richard appeared frequently in British television roles throughout his career and was working as a screenwriter when he died. He played a reporter in 1980's Superman II, which featured actress Sarah Dougless - the villainess Ursa - to whom he was married during the 1980s.

But it was for his Star Wars role that Richard may be best remembered as an actor.

"He absolutely loved travelling the world and meeting his friends and fellow Stars Wars fans, whose tributes have given us all the best lines in this message," his family said in a statement.

"He was no respecter of convention, except comic conventions," said Rhiannon, Stephanie and Tyrone LeParmentier.

"Every time we find someone's lack of faith disturbing, we'll think of him," they said.

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