Sep. 25th, 1951
Concord, California, USA
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Mark Richard Hamill (born September 25, 1951) is an American actor, voice actor, writer, producer, and director. He is best known for his portrayal of Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars series – Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and Return of the Jedi (1983) – a role he reprised in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015). Hamill also starred and co-starred in the films Corvette Summer (1978), The Big Red One (1980), and Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015). Hamill's extensive voice acting work includes a long-standing role as the Joker, commencing with Batman: The Animated Series in 1992.
Born in Oakland, California, and was raised in Virginia. He is a son of Virginia Suzanne (née Johnson; 1927–1998) and U. S. Navy Captain William Thomas Hamill (b. 1927). He is one of seven children, including two brothers, Will and Patrick, and four sisters, Terry, Jan, Jeanie, and Kim. His mother was of half Swedish descent. His father's changes of station, and attendant family moves, led to the Hamill children changing schools more often than others. In his elementary years, he went to Walsingham Academy and Poe Middle School. At age 11, he moved to the 5900 block of Castleton Drive in San Diego, California, where he attended Hale Junior High School. During his first year at James Madison High School, his family moved to Virginia where he attended Annandale High School. By his junior year, his father was stationed in Japan, where Hamill attended and graduated in 1968 from Nile C. Kinnick High School (located in Yokohama, Japan at the time) and was a member of the Drama Club. He later enrolled at Los Angeles City College and majored in drama.
Hamill was raised as a Roman Catholic, and described his father as a "Nixon Republican".
Hamill made his acting debut on The Bill Cosby Show (1969) in 1970. He played a continuing role (Kent Murray) in TV's General Hospital (1963) and co-starred in the respected TV comedy series The Texas Wheelers (1974). Real fame came with his film debut (he was voice only in Wizards (1977) with the hero role of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars (1977), Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983). He experienced a disfiguring car crash, but later played in Broadway, returning to film in 1989.
On December 17, 1978, Hamill married dental hygienist Marilou York in a private civil ceremony. They have three children together: Nathan (born June 25, 1979), Griffin (born March 4, 1983), and Chelsea Elizabeth (born July 27, 1988). Nathan was born during the production of The Empire Strikes Back and had a cameo role in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, playing one of the Royal Guards of Naboo.
On January 11, 1977, one day before he was set to shoot one of the scenes in Star Wars, Hamill was in a car accident in which he fractured his nose and left cheekbone, requiring seven hours of surgery. As a result, a double was used for the landspeeder pickup shots. According to Hamill in a recorded interview, he was driving his BMW on a freeway and became distracted, and seeing that he was missing his offramp, tried to negotiate four lanes of traffic. Hamill stated in that interview that some of the real scars from the crash made an appearance in The Empire Strikes Back.
- Claims his inspiration for the vocal interpretation as The Joker on the animated _"Batman" (1992)_ (qv) came from a mixture of Hannibal Lecter and 'Jerry Lewis (I)' (qv).
- For the New Jedi Order novelization he reprized his role as Luke Skywalker playing his own voice in a commercial.
- He did all his own stunts in _Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)_ (qv) -- 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 Vader throws his saber 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' (qv), performed both of these stunts.
- He did all his own stunts in _Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)_ (qv), except in the scene in Cloud city where he is sucked out of a window.
- He was originally cast as David on _"Eight Is Enough" (1977)_ (qv), and asked to be released from his contract before _Star Wars (1977)_ (qv) came out because he sensed the movie would be successful, and Hamill wanted to focus on his movie career. ABC refused to release him from his contract, thinking that having a successful movie star connected with the show would help "Eight is Enough" (1976). Hamill was then in a car crash in December 1976 and injured his face. This made him unavailable for shooting the TV series, and ABC was forced to recast the role of David, which then went to 'Grant Goodeve' (qv).
- Trained with sword master 'Bob Anderson (III)' (qv) for his role as 'Luke Skywalker' (qv); Anderson also trained 'David Prowse (I)' (qv) (Darth Vader).
- In an ironic counterpoint to his problem of being typecast as a upright hero like "Luke Skywalker" in live-action roles, he has found that his successful career as an animation voice actor has typecast him as a player of flamboyant villains like "The Joker" in the animated _"Batman" (1992)_ (qv) series.
- He kept his Luke Skywalker boots, from the first "Star Wars" movie. When the movie was re-released to theaters in the late 1990s, his son asked if he could wear the boots to a showing. Hamill said no, telling him he didn't think the boy would "get out alive" if fans knew his boots were the originals.