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Jason Wingreen, the Voice of Boba Fett in ‘Empire Strikes Back,’ Passes Away

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Jason Wingreen, the prolific character actor who provided the voice of Boba Fett in “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back,” passed away Dec. 25 following a brief illness. He was 95.

Wingreen amassed nearly 200 credits during his four-decade career, ranging from “The Twilight Zone” and “Star Trek” to “Airplane!” and “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” However, he’s probably most recognizable from his recurring role as bartender Harry Snowden on “All in the Family” and its spinoff “Archie Bunker’s Place.”

The Brooklyn-born actor auditioned to voice Yoda in “The Empire Strikes Back,” a part that famously went to Frank Oz, but was instead given four lines of dialogue spoken by the then-mysterious Boba Fett. “I think the actual work, aside from the hellos and goodbyes and all that, could have been no more than 10 minutes,” he once said of the role.

Wingreen received no credit or residuals for his contribution to the film; in fact, The Hollywood Reporter notes, his involvement in “The Empire Strikes Back” wasn’t even publicly revealed until 2000. When director George Lucas released the special edition of “Empire” in 2004, he replaced Wingreen’s dialogue with new lines recorded by actor Temuera Morrison, who played Boba Fett’s father Jango in the “Star Wars” prequels.

Comments

  • demoncat_4

    sympathy to his friends and family for the loss of a legend that was hidden by hollywood . for didn’t know just like with james earl jones voicing vader. that boba fett also was played by two people one in the costum and one doing his voice

  • Deathstroke

    you didn´t know that JEJ voiced Vader?! LMFAO everybody knows that,

  • http://www.co-optimus.com/ JGLives

    I didn’t know that until well after I saw movies like Coming to America and The Lion King. Growing up, I didn’t care who the actors were unless they were big actors like Robin Williams, Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray, Billy Crystal, etc.

    I didn’t know JEJ played Vader until I went to college in 2003. I just wasn’t that into discussing movies like that.

    PS: JEJ is in The Lion King as well! Just learned that this weekend. Must have missed it being a kid and just wanting to watch the movie.

  • Hex08

    Doubtful. I am old enough to have seen Star Wars in the theater, before it was ever called A New Hope, and I had no idea until sometime after 2000 when it was publicly revealed he did the voice. Based on your post I can only assume you are young enough that it was public knowledge for most of your life.

  • Eric

    JEJ didn’t have his name credited with the first two films when released, so there were plenty of people who may not have known.