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Jeremy Bulloch, the actor best known for playing Boba Fett in the original Star Wars trilogy, has died aged 75. The beloved sci-fi icon passed away in hospital earlier this week from health complications related to his years-long battle with Parkinson's disease, his agent confirmed.
"He had a long and happy career spanning more than 45 years," a statement read. "He was devoted to his wife, three sons, and 10 grandchildren and they will miss him terribly."
Bulloch made his first appearance as the feared bounty hunter Boba Fett in 1980's The Empire Strikes Back, and once more in Return Of The Jedi. The character has gone on to become a fan-favourite over the years, and recently returned in the Star Wars spin-off series The Mandalorian, with actor Temuera Morrison taking over the role.
Outside of Star Wars, Bulloch enjoyed a rich and varied career in British TV, theatre, and film. Bulloch appeared in James Bond film Octopussy in 1983, and even showed up in a 1970's episode of Doctor Who alongside Jon Pertwee.
Tributes for Bulloch have since poured in from fellow Star Wars alumni, with creator George Lucas describing him as a "true gentleman". Lucas said Bulloch "brought the perfect combination of mystery and menace to his performance of Boba Fett", and added that he was always "very supportive of Star Wars and its fans."
"I'm very grateful for his contributions to the saga and its legacy," he finished.
Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy and more recent sequels, hailed Bulloch as the "quintessential English gentleman".
"A fine actor, delightful company and so kind to everyone lucky enough to meet or work with him," he wrote in a touching tribute on Twitter. "I will deeply miss him and am so grateful to have known him."
Jeremy Bulloch was the quintessential English gentleman. A fine actor, delightful company & so kind to everyone lucky enough to meet or work with him. I will deeply miss him & am so grateful to have known him. :broken_heart: #RIP_DearJeremy pic.twitter.com/SMvjtQsSwZ- Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) December 17, 2020
Meanwhile, a post from the official Star Wars Twitter said that Bulloch's "unforgettable performance" as the bounty hunter "captivated audiences since he first appeared. He will be remembered not only for his iconic portrayal of the legendary character, but also for his warmth and generous spirit which have become an enduring part of his rich legacy."