'Star Wars' Actor Dies: Richard LeParmentier Was Famously Choked by Darth Vader

Image: 'Star Wars' Actor Dies: Richard LeParmentier Was Famously Choked by Darth Vader

Wednesday, 17 Apr 2013 08:58 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Richard LeParmentier, the actor in 1977's "Star Wars: A New Hope" who was famously choked by Darth Vader, died unexpectedly on Tuesday. He was 66.

LeParmentier was visiting his children in Austin, Texas, when he died, according to publicist Derek Maki.

LeParmentier appeared in several films throughout the 1970s and 1980s including "Powerball" in 1975, the James Bond film "Octopussy" in 1983, and "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" in 1988.

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However, it was his limited role in 1977's "Star Wars: A New Hope" for which he is most remembered. LeParmentier played the arrogant Admiral Motti, who was responsible for commanding Darth Vader's planet-destroying Death Star spaceship.

At one point, LeParmentier's character mocks the force, a metaphysical and ubiquitous power that binds the universe together in the movie, telling Vader: "Don't try and frighten us with your sorcerer's ways, Lord Vader."

Vader responds by using the force to choke the commander, uttering the now famous line, "I find your lack of faith disturbing." The star fleet commander was eventually released from the choke under the direction of a superior officer.

The brief exchange in the cult classic has followed LeParmentier throughout his life.

Beyond "Star Wars," LeParmentier appeared frequently in British television roles throughout his career and was working as a screenwriter when he died.

In the 1980's "Superman II" he played a reporter who met his future wife, English actress Sarah Dougless, who played the villainess Ursa. After marrying in 1981, the couple divorced three years later.

Born in Pittsburgh, Pa., LeParmentier relocated in 1974 to England where he resided in Bath.

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In his personal life, LeParmentier was an extensive traveler, according to his family.

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

"He was no respecter of convention, except comic conventions," the statement continued. "Every time we find someone's lack of faith disturbing, we'll think of him."

Related stories:

'Star Wars' fans petition for Death Star, but White House Says No

'Star Wars' Spinoffs Confirmed by Disney CEO Bob Iger

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