Jeremy Bulloch, the original Boba Fett in ‘Star Wars,’ dies at 75

The English Star Wars actor Jeremy Bulloch, who played the bounty hunter Boba Fett, attends a photocall at 'Star Wars Identities: The Exhibition' at the O2 Arena in Central London, Britain, 26 July 2017. EPA/WILL OLIVER

Jeremy Bulloch, the actor who first embodied the masked villain Boba Fett in Star Wars, has died at the age of 75.

Bulloch donned Fett’s beat-up Mandalorian armour in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, bringing a cold gravitas to the faceless bounty hunter as he chased Han Solo (Harrison Ford) across the galaxy.

Bulloch played the character on screen while another actor provided the voice, much like Darth Vader actor David Prowse.

Read more: Darth Vader actor Dave Prowse dies at age 85

Bulloch died Thursday of health complications after a years-long battle with Parkinson’s disease, according to a statement on his official website. He is survived by Maureen, his wife of 50 years, as well as his three sons and 10 grandchildren.

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Daniel Logan, who played Boba Fett as a child in the prequel film Attack of the Clones, announced Bulloch’s death in an Instagram statement on Thursday.

“It brings me to tears to announce Jeremy Bulloch has past (sic) away,” he wrote. “Conventions won’t be the same without you. May the Force be with you, always.”

Born in Leicestershire, England, Bulloch started acting as a child and appeared in several British TV programs, including Doctor Who and Robin of Sherwood. He also played an MI6 assistant in several James Bond films.

However, he is perhaps best-known for playing Boba Fett in The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983).

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Jeremy Bulloch is shown as Boba Fett in The Empire Strikes Back. Everett Collection/AP

The masked, largely-silent bounty hunter became a cult-favourite character among Star Wars fans after his debut. The character was later given an origin story in the prequel trilogy, though Bulloch was not a part of it. However, he did have cameo role in Revenge of the Sith (2005).

Bulloch embraced his time as Boba Fett, and was a mainstay on the fan convention circuit for years until 2018. His 2004 autobiography, Flying Solo: Tales of a Bounty Hunter, drew on the character’s profession for its title.

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“In 1979 I was called onto the set of Empire Strikes Back to play Boba Fett, and since that day it has changed the entire direction of my life in such a wonderful way,” he wrote in 2018, when he declared that he could no longer attend conventions.

“It has been a privilege to have had the opportunity to inspire so many generations of Star Wars fans.”

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The role of Boba Fett has since been taken over by Temuera Morrison. He first played Fett’s father in Attack of the Clones, and his voice was redubbed into the original trilogy to go with Bulloch’s physical performance.

Morrison recently returned to the role as both the voice and body of Boba Fett in the Disney+ series The Mandalorian.

Jason Wingreen, who provided Boba Fett’s original voice, died in 2016 at the age of 95.

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