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Mark Hamill

Mark Richard Hamill (born September 25, 1951) is an American actorvoice artist, producer, director, and writer. He is best known for his performance as Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy, as well as his voice role as the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series, its various spin-offs, and the video games Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City. Hamill has also lent his voice to various other villains, such as the Hobgoblin on the 1990s Spider-Man TV series, and anti-heroes in various other animated productions.[1]

Early life and education

Hamill was born in Oakland, California and raised in Virginia. He is the son of Virginia Suzanne (née Johnson) and William Thomas Hamill, who was a captain in the U.S. Navy.[2] He was one of seven children that included two brothers, Will and Patrick, and four sisters, Terry, Jan, Jeanie, and Kim. When Mark was a child, his father's career meant moving on numerous occasions and subsequently,he attended different schools throughout his early life. In his elementary years, he went to Poe Middle School. At age 11, he moved to the 5900 block of Castleton Drive in San Diego where he attended Hale Junior High School and then, during his freshman year at James Madison Senior High School, his family moved to Virginia. By junior year, his father was stationed in Japan where Mark attended Nile C. Kinnick High School in Yokosuka, and was a member of the drama club. After that he attendedAnnandale High School in Annandale, Virginia. He subsequently enrolled at Los Angeles City College and majored in drama.

Early career

Hamill's early career included voicing the character Corey Anders on the Saturday morning cartoon Jeannie by Hanna-Barbera Productions. He also portrayed the oldest son, David, on the pilot episode of Eight Is Enough, though the role was later performed by Grant Goodeve. He acted in TV series such as The Texas WheelersGeneral HospitalThe Partridge Family, and One Day at a Time. One of his earliest films was the made-for-TV film The City.

Star Wars

Main article: 

Star Wars

Robert Englund was auditioning for a part in Apocalypse Now when he walked across the hall where auditions were taking place for George LucasStar Wars. After watching the auditions for awhile, he realized that his friend, aspiring actor Mark Hamill, would be perfect for the role of Luke Skywalker. He suggested to Hamill that he audition for the part; Hamill did, and won the role.[3]

Released in the summer of 1977, Star Wars was an enormous, unexpected success and made a huge impact on the film industry. Hamill also appeared in The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978) and later starred in the successful Star Wars sequels The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983). For each of the sequels, Hamill was honored with the Saturn Award for Best Actor given by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films.

He reprised the role of Luke Skywalker for the radio dramatizations of both Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, but did not act in the Return of the Jedi radio drama due to budgetary concerns.[citation needed] With the acquisition of Lucasfilm by the Walt Disney Company, it has been announced that there will be more Star Wars films starting with Episode VII which will be released in 2015. It is rumored that Hamill will appear in the new trilogy alongside fellow Star Wars actors Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher as Han Solo and Princess Leia, respectively.[4]

Reprints of Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces (which influenced Lucas as he was developing the films) issued after the release of Star Wars in 1977 used the image of Hamill as Luke Skywalker on the cover.[5]

Car accident

On January 11, 1977, one day before he was set to shoot one of the needed scenes in Star Wars, Hamill was in a car accident in which he fractured his nose and left cheekbone,[6] which required seven hours of surgery. As a result, a double was used for the landspeeder pickup shots.[7]

Live action and stage work

After the success of Star Wars, Hamill found that audiences identified him very closely with the role of Luke Skywalker. He attempted to avoid typecastingby appearing in Corvette Summer (1978) and the better-known World War II film The Big Red One (1980). As the 1980s wore on, Hamill did little film work outside of Star Wars. Instead, he acted on Broadway, starring in The Elephant Man (for which he received a Drama Desk Award nomination), The Nerd, and other stage plays, for which he received positive reviews.

Hamill played the antagonist Hawkins in the Swedish action movie Hamilton in 1998. Some of his other film credits include The Night the Lights Went Out in GeorgiaBritannia HospitalSlipstreamThe Guyver, and the 1995 remake of Village of the Damned. In 1990, he played an escaped mental patient who terrorizes Michael Dudikoff and his wife in Midnight Ride. He also narrated The Sci-Fi Files, a four-part documentary about the influence of science fiction upon present society. In 2001, Hamill starred in the feature film Thank You, Good Night alongside Christian CampbellJohn Paul Pitoc, and Sally Kirkland. Hamill appeared in the film Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and parodies Luke Skywalker, The Joker, The Trickster (of "The Flash" fame), the vast array of super-villain voices he has done and himself all at the same time.

In live-action television, Hamill had recurring roles in General Hospital and The Texas Wheelers, and a small role in The Bill Cosby Show. He guest appeared in two episodes as the Trickster in the live-action television series of The Flash, a role he would later reprise in the animated series Justice League Unlimited. He has made cameo appearances on MADtv (where he played the estranged father of Ms. Swan), and appeared on Saturday Night Live (playing himself being sold on a Star Wars themed home shopping sale).[8] Hamill appeared on single episodes of 3rd Rock from the Sun and Just Shoot Me! He also had a guest spot on The Muppet Show as both himself and his "cousin" Luke Skywalker, along with C-3POChewbacca and R2-D2. In 1986, he appeared in an episode of the TV series Amazing Stories ("Gather Ye Acorns") in the role of Jonathan. He also had a recurring role as Tobias LeConte on seaQuest DSV. It has been recounted by Richard Hatch that, shortly after the filming of Star Wars, when Mark appeared on set for a guest appearance on Streets of San Francisco, he was asked by Richard about recent work, to which Mark had reportedly replied "I just finished a movie calledStar Wars."

Hamill also directed and starred in the 2005 direct-to-DVD Comic Book: The Movie. A comic book fan who attended science fiction and comic conventions before he became famous, Hamill claimed that his character was based on an exaggerated version of himself. He and his crew shot most of the "mockumentary" film during the 2002 San Diego Comic-Con, and enlisted Stan LeeKevin Smith, and Hugh Hefner in small roles. The movie won an award for Best Live-Action DVD Premiere Movie at the 2005 DVD Exclusive Awards.

Hamill appeared as a villain in the fifth season of NBC's show Chuck.[9]

Voice acting

Mark Hamill has gained a reputation as a prolific voice actor. He previously did voice acting work in the Ralph Bakshi film Wizards, where he played "Sean, leader of the Knights of Stardust", which was released just three months before Star Wars in 1977. Though the voice-role he is most known for isBatman's arch-nemesis the Joker, his success as the Joker has led him to portray a wide variety of characters (mostly villainous) in television, film, anime, and video games. Mark Hamill was also the voice of The Hobgoblin in the 1990s Spider-Man cartoon series.

The Joker

Hamill's acclaimed role as the Joker began in Batman: The Animated Series (1992–1995), and continued to many later spin-off series, video games and films. Hamill had initially played a guest voice role as corrupt businessman Ferris Boyle in the episode "Heart of Ice", and was delighted when offered the role of the Joker, one of his favorite characters, after the previous choice Tim Curry dropped out. The most prominent feature of his portrayal that has garnered such acclaim is his dynamic use of laughter to express the Joker's mood. Hamill referred to the Joker's laugh as being like a musical instrument and would practice laughing maniacally while driving to recording sessions. The incredible success of Hamill in this role not only was a rousing success in all regards, but put him in high demand as a voice-over actor of over-the-top cartoon villains.

Hamill also voiced the Joker in three episodes of Superman: The Animated Series, five episodes of The New Batman Adventures, five episodes of Justice League an episode of Static Shock and a few segments in Robot Chicken. He also voiced the Joker in the theatrical film Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993) and the direct-to-video film Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000).[10]

The short-lived WB live action series, Birds of Prey, based on the comic book of the same title, featured a flashback sequence in which the Joker shoots Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) and paralyzesher. This sequence featured Hamill voicing the Joker, dubbed over actor Roger Stoneburner whose facial structure more resembled the character. The actor's face was shot in the background so as to be slightly blurred. Hamill also voiced the Joker alongside his Batman: The Animated Series co-star Kevin Conroy as Batman and Jason Hillhouse as Dick Grayson in a feature of a storyboard scene included in the 2005 Special Edition DVD of Tim Burton's 1989 Batman film. This scene depicted the origin of Robin, which was not filmed because the producers felt it was out of place with the rest of the film.

Hamill has said that he has voiced the Joker for toys and amusement park rides. Although these jobs did not pay particularly well, he enjoyed even these small roles and admitted being protective of the character, expressing concern with others "sleeping in his sleeping bag". He also unapologetically self-identifies as a "real comic book nerd".[11] Hamill has portrayed the Joker in a few Batman-themed video games, notably Batman Vengeance, the Sega CD version of The Adventures of Batman & Robin, and in Batman: Arkham Asylum. Hamill again reprised his role of The Joker in the Asylum's sequel, Batman: Arkham City, as well as the computer and PlayStation 3 MMORPG DC Universe Online.[12] In May 2010, Hamill declared to IGN UK that his role in Arkham City would be his last as the Joker.[11] On October 19, 2011, shortly after the release of the game, he confirmed this on his Twitter account, saying "Hello/Goodbye Joker! I've enjoyed every minute behind the wheel of the Clown Prince’s crazy car — I'm going to miss him more than I can say!!".[13][14] However, he has expressed an interest in reclaiming the role were an adaptation ofBatman: The Killing Joke ever made. He encouraged fans to campaign for said adaptation, in a tweet made on October 24, 2011. [15] Since then, a Facebook page titled "Petition to get Mark Hamill to play the Joker in animated Killing Joke"[16] has been set up by his fans.

On July 14, 2012, during a San Diego Comic-Con interview with Spike TV, Hamill was asked about his decision to retire the role. When asked if he was truly done with the character he said: "I don't wanna stick around so long that people get sick of me, and I thought after Arkham Asylum, 'That's as good as it will ever get'". When asked about the rumored sequels and whether or not he would return he responded, "Well...never say never." [17]

Later television and work

Hamill later did the voice of Lawrance "Larry" 3000, in Cartoon Network's animated series Time Squad. He also guest starred in The Simpsons episode "Mayored to the Mob". On the audio commentary of the episode, he says that he has been a fan of the show since it debuted in 1989 and that it was a personal thrill to work with Dan Castellaneta, the voice of Homer Simpson.

His acclaim for the Joker role has led to other super-villain roles in other animated series, including the Gargoyle in the animated series of The Incredible Hulk, the Hobgoblin in Spider-Man: The Animated SeriesMaximus in Fantastic Four, Captain Stickybeard in Codename: Kids Next Door, and the deranged shock jock anchorman Dr. Jak in Phantom 2040. He even parodied his Joker role in the Tom & Jerry Kids episode "Droopy Man Returns," and in the Animaniacs episode "The Cranial Crusader", as Johnny Bad-Note. He voiced Py-Ro in Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, Dr. Julius Pendecker in The Tick, and Niju the Evil Wolf in Balto II: Wolf Quest. He also voiced Christopher "Maverick" Blair in the animated series Wing Commander Academy. In 1999, he provided the voice of Van Ripper in The Night of the Headless Horseman. He voiced the character of Chanukah Zombie for the 2007 straight-to-DVD release Futurama: Bender's Big Score. He also voiced the character Adolpho in Loonatics Unleashed.

Hamill was also the voice of Judah in the DreamWorks film Joseph: King of Dreams.

Hamill also provided voice-acting for comic-book baddies Solomon Grundy and the Trickster in the DC animated universe series Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. Hamill has since voiced the murderous gangster Tony Zucco in The Batman, an animated series unrelated to the various DCAU shows. He also voiced the Spectre, in an episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold, another animated series unrelated to the DCAU.

Hamill performs the voice of the bad guy Undergrowth in the Danny Phantom episode "Urban Jungle." He provided the voice of series antagonist Fire Lord Ozai in Avatar: The Last Airbender and Skeleton King in Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!. He also guest starred as The Moth in the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Night Light". Additionally, he played the latter character in the Mina and the Count shorts.

In the Hanna-Barbera Productions cartoon SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron, Hamill voiced Jonny K., the Red Lynx, and Burke, among others. He is also a recurring voice actor on Seth Green'sRobot ChickenAdult Swim listed Hamill as one of the channel's best Voice Actors.[citation needed]

In April 2009, he had a voice cameo in the NASA animated short "Robot Astronomy Talk Show: Gravity and the Great Attractor," part of the web-series IRrelevant Astronomy, produced by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

He is currently doing voicework for several characters in the Metalocalypse animated series, plays the voice of Skips in the animated series Regular Show, and did a special guest appearance onThe Boondocks in the episode Mr. Medicinal on Adult Swim. He also voices Frank the Director in Random! Cartoons on Frederator Studios. He also voices Abraham Kane in the new series,Motorcity.

In 2012, it is confirmed that Hamill is also doing the voicework for Alvin the Treacherous, a villain who is set to appear in DreamWorks Television Series, Dragons: Riders of Berk.

Anime

Hamill's roles in television animation led to his recruitment as a voice actor for a number of video games, most often as the protagonist.

When the Wing Commander series of computer games started using full motion video cut scenes, Hamill was cast as the series protagonist, Colonel Christopher Blair, a role he played in Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger (1994), Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom (1995), and Wing Commander: Prophecy (1997). (In the 1999 Wing Commander film, set earlier in the series, the character was played by Freddie Prinze, Jr.) He did however, have a voice-over cameo, as did many of the other actors who did voice-overs for the game. Hamill was also cast as the voice of Christopher Blair in the animated television series Wing Commander Academy.

Other notable computer-game roles (voice only) include Detective Mosely in Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers, Assistant Director Wilson in Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix, several characters in the LucasArts game Full Throttle (including the game's main villain, Adrian Ripburger), and Wolverine in X-Men 2: Wolverine's Revenge, the tie-in game to the movie X-Men 2. Hamill also provided a voice for one of the selectable voicesets in Icewind Dale (Heart of Winter expansion) and also two of the primary characters of Starsiege, one of them a young warrior leading a rebellion against an empire. Hamill voiced characters for The Scorpion King: Rise of the Akkadian, and also played the role of Emperor Griffon in the PlayStation 2 role-playing game Dark Cloud 2, as well as Colonel Kroitz in Grandia Xtreme.

While some have mistakenly suspected that he reprised his role as Luke Skywalker for LucasArtsStar Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast and Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, the character is actually voiced by Bob Bergen (also the voice of Porky Pig and others). Hamill's likeness is also used as an alternative character model in the Wii and PlayStation 2 versions of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. The PlayStation 2 and Wii editions feature both A New Hope and Return of the Jedi models.

He narrated a documentary on the United States' 1st Infantry Division. Footage from the documentary was used in the video game Call of Duty 2: Big Red One. He has appeared in two installments in the Crash Bandicoot series: in Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex as Py-Ro the Fire Elemental, and in Crash: Mind over Mutant as the Znu.

Hamill did voiceover work for the PlayStation 2 game Yakuza, where he plays Goro Majima, a lieutenant in a Yakuza family. He is also the voice of Malefor the Dark Master in The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon. He also lent his vocal talents to Darksiders, as the Watcher.

Hamill also lent his voice to the English version of the PlayStation Portable title, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep as Master Eraqus. The game's director, Tetsuya Nomura, stated in an interview that he chose Hamill for the part specifically because of his role as Luke Skywalker.

One of Hamill's most prestigious roles in video games is his work on Batman: Arkham Asylum, as the Joker. He also played the Joker in the sequel, Batman: Arkham City, winning the 2011 British Academy Video Game Award for Best Performer.

Audio books

Hamill voiced the character of Todd Wainio in World War Z, a critically acclaimed audiobook based on Max Brooksnovel of the same name.

He also provided the entire cast of voices for a 1983 audiobook version of Pinocchio (with unique characteristics for each). Hamill also reads life into the characters of the popular juvenile fiction book series, The Spiderwick Chronicles Volumes I-III, by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi.

Narration

Hamill is credited as the narrator in Ancient Voices, a 1999 series of documentaries on archaeology and ancient history produced by as a BBC/The Learning Channel co-production, and published by Time-Life as a DVD series.

Writing career

Hamill is the co-writer of The Black Pearl, a comic book miniseries published by Dark Horse Comics. He wrote an introduction to the Trade PaperbackBatman: Riddler Two-Face which reprints various stories involving The Riddler and Two-Face to tie in with Batman Forever. He has also written several stories for Simpsons Comics, including "Catastrophe in Substitute Springfields!", which parodies DC's Crisis on Infinite Earths and also references several other classic comics.

Personal life

On December 17, 1978, Hamill married dental hygienist Marilou York in a private civil ceremony.[18] They have three children together: Nathan (born June 25, 1979), Griffin (born March 4, 1983) and Chelsea Elizabeth (born July 27, 1988).[19] His son Nathan was born during the production of The Empire Strikes Back and had a cameo role in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999) playing one of the Royal Guards of Naboo.

Political views

At Comic-Con 2012, Hamill said to OnTheRedCarpet.com, "If you don't vote for Barack Obama, you're insane. 'Cause without him, I think the middle class will completely disappear. And you look at Romney and I'm sure he's a nice guy, but he is like The Thing, he only imitates human behavior, he's not actually human himself. (...) So God bless him, I'm enjoying him running for office but I just came out as a lifelong Democrat".[20]

Hamill has appeared on The Young Turks on Current TV.

Filmography

Main article: Mark Hamill filmography

Comics

Year Title Notes
1996-1997 The Black Pearl Written with Eric Johnson
2012 The Secret Service Portrayed as a hostage that is rescued by a Secret Service agent
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