Jeremy Bulloch, the English actor who famously portrayed Boba Fett in the original Star Wars trilogy, has died at the age of 75.
As ComicBook notes, Bulloch’s passing was confirmed by Daniel logan, who played a young Boba Fett in the Star Wars: Attack of the Clones prequel. According to TMZ, Bulloch passed away from health complications related to Parkinson’s disease.
Bulloch was born in Leicester, UK in 1945 and began acting at just 13 years old. His early career included small parts in low-budget films like Summer Holiday and Spare the Rod, as well as recurring roles in two Doctor Who serials (1965’s The Space Museum and 1973’s The Time Warrior). In the early 1980s, he co-starred in a BBC series based on Robin Hood called Robin of Sherwood.
He also appeared in three James Bond films: 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me, 1981’s For Your Eyes Only, and 1983’s Octopussy. In the latter two, he portrayed Q’s assistant, Smithers.
Though a working actor for over 50 years, he’s most known for a role in which he never speaks and isn’t seen: Boba Fett. The fan favorite bounty hunter Boba Fett first debuted in an animated segment of The Star Wars Holiday Special, and was subsequently brought to life by Bulloch in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Though Jason Wingreen provided the character’s voice, it was Bulloch who wore the iconic Mandalorian armor, giving the character his imposingly stoic disposition.
However, Boba Fett wasn’t the only character portrayed by Bulloch. During the filming of Empire, filmmakers were in need of someone to play an Imperial Officer in a bit scene where Princess Leia attempts to warn Luke Skywalker of Darth Vader’s plans. With no one on set to wear the suit, Bulloch stepped in to fill the part, later identified as Lieutenant Sheckil. He also cameoed in 2005’s Revenge of the Sith, piloting an Alderaan Cruiser carrying Kenobi, Bail Organa, and Yoda to Coruscant. His character’s name was Captain Jeremoch Colton.
Having embodied one of the most beloved characters in the Star Wars universe, Bulloch was a frequent guest at Star Wars Celebration events over the years. Even after retiring from the convention circuit in 2018, he continued to welcome fans into his own home for signings until the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year.
Bulloch’s legacy as Boba Fett lives on in Disney+’s The Mandalorian, with the character now played by Temuera Morrison.
Update: George Lucas, Mark Hamill, and Billy Dee Williams have commented on the loss. Said the Star Wars creator (via The Hollywood Reporter), “Jeremy brought the perfect combination of mystery and menace to his performance of Boba Fett, which is just what I wanted the character to convey. In addition, Jeremy was a true gentleman who was very supportive of Star Wars and its fans, and I’m very grateful for his contributions to the saga and its legacy.”
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. 💔 #RIP_DearJeremy pic.twitter.com/SMvjtQsSwZ
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) December 17, 2020
Today we lost the best bounty hunter in the galaxy 💔RIP Jeremy Bulloch #BobaFett
— Billy Dee Williams (@realbdw) December 17, 2020