Richard LeParmentier, January 2004
July 16, 1946|
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
|Died||April 15, 2013
Austin, Texas, United States
|Spouse(s)||Sarah Douglas (1981–1984; divorced)|
Richard LeParmentier (July 16, 1946 – April 15, 2013) was an American actor working primarily in England, best known for his role as Admiral Motti in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977) and the acerbic police Lt. Santino in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988).
LeParmentier was born near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the United States on July 16, 1946 and raised on a dairy farm. His father was from the isle of Guernsey and his mother from County Mayo in Ireland. LeParmentier lived in Hollywood, Florida during his teen years, and it was there that his school drama teacher suggested he become a professional actor. He attended a drama course at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, before moving to the United Kingdom in 1974.
After appearing in a Fringe theatre production that was broadcast by the BBC, LeParmentier was granted an Equity union membership card and toured with the Incubus Theatre Company. His first film role was as lawyer Felix Hoffman in the 1974's Stardust and the following year he appeared in the film Rollerball. He also made numerous appearances on British television. His most prominent role was that of Admiral Conan Antonio Motti, the arrogant, mocking Imperial officer who is choked by Darth Vader in Star Wars (1977), after Vader finds his "lack of faith disturbing". James Burns and Mark Newbold, writing on the official Star Wars website, described the role as leaving "an indelible imprint on the Star Wars galaxy, helping to illustrate the fearsome powers of Lord Vader as well as the arrogance and malice of a bloated and over-confident Empire." LeParmentier had auditioned for the role of Han Solo, one of the film's main characters. The auditions for Star Wars were also used for Brian DePalma's Carrie and LeParmentier was cast as the high school principal in the latter. The film's production was delayed for nine months, so LeParmentier had to drop out of the role. He was offered a two-line role as a customs officer in Star Wars, but deemed the part too small. Star Wars' writer and director George Lucas cut the part, and the following month LeParmentier was cast as Motti.
LeParmentier also had roles in films such as Superman II (1980), Octopussy (1983) and Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) as Lt. Santino. His last screen role was in 1992, and from 1988 his focus became largely writing and producing. He wrote for several British television series including The Bill and Boon, with his writing partner Paddy Fletcher. He founded the production company Three Rivers Productions in 2008. LeParmentier became a "staple" of the Star Wars and science-fiction convention circuit, and made a cameo appearance in an online commercial for the 2012 Xbox 360 video game Kinect Star Wars, which re-created his famous scene from Star Wars. At the time of his death, he was working on Motti Now, a parody of Apocalypse Now, featuring other Star Wars alumni such as Kenneth Colley, Jeremy Bulloch, Garrick Hagon and Jerome Blake.
Personal life and death
From 1981 to 1984, LeParmentier was married to the British actress Sarah Douglas, who is best known for playing the role of Ursa in Superman and Superman II. The two appeared in several films together, including Rollerball, The People That Time Forgot, and Superman II. He had three children.
- Stardust (1974) - Felix Hoffman
- Rollerball (1975) - Bartholomew's Aide
- Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977) - Admiral Motti
- The People That Time Forgot (1977) - Lieutenant Whitby
- Lillie (1978) (television miniseries) - Third Reporter
- The Music Machine (1979) - Jay Reltano
- Silver Dream Racer (1980) - Journalist
- Superman II (1980) - Reporter
- Octopussy (1983) - US aide
- Paint Me a Murder (1985) (television series) - Kates
- London Embassy (1987) (television miniseries) - Al Sanger
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) - Lieutenant Santino
- Capital City (1989) (television series) - Lee Wolf
- The Berlin Conspiracy (1992) - Colonel Gurnheim
- Soldiers: Heroes of World War II (2004) (video game) (voice) - American Narrator
- Burns, Jack; Newbold, Mark (2013-04-17). "Richard LeParmentier: Saluting The Admiral". Star Wars.com. Retrieved 2013-04-27.
- "Star Wars actor Richard LeParmentier dies". BBC News. 2013-04-17. Retrieved 2013-04-27.
- "Kinect Star Wars: Girly Vader". Jedi News. February 15, 2012. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
- "Star Wars actor Richard LeParmentier dies". ABC News. April 18, 2013. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
- Staff, TMZ (April 16, 2013). "Richard LeParmentier Dead -- Darth Vader Force-Choke Victim In Star Wars Dies At 66". TMZ. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
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