Original 'Star Wars' Boba Fett actor Jeremy Bulloch dies at 75

Jeremy Bulloch, who originally played Boba Fett in "Star Wars," died, age 75 on Dec. 17, 2020.

(Image credit: John Phillips/Getty Images)

Jeremy Bulloch, the actor who originally portrayed bounty hunter Boba Fett in the first "Star Wars" trilogy (1977-1983), died Thursday (Dec. 17) at age 75.

The news was first confirmed by Bulloch's family on his private Facebook page, according to Deadline, and on a public Instagram post by Daniel Logan — the now 33-year-old actor who portrayed Fett in the prequel "Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones" (2002). Bulloch is said to have died of complications of Parkinson's disease.

Bulloch's death comes just weeks after Temuera Morrison took on the role of Fett in the Disney Plus hit "The Mandalorian" (2019-present), which follows the bounty hunter known as the Mandalorian about five years after the events of "Return of the Jedi" (1983). In "The Mandalorian" Season 2 finale, which coincidentally released Friday (Dec. 18), a new Boba Fett series was announced for Disney Plus in December 2021, according to The Verge

Related: The Greatest 'Star Wars' Villains of All Time

But Bulloch's iconic performance as Fett still stays with fans and remains as an influence on the "Star Wars" franchise, especially sticking with the actors who worked with him during his long career.

"RIP Legend," Logan said in an all-caps post on Instagram, adding that he will "never forget all you've taught me" and that conventions would not be the same with Bulloch's absence. "May the Force be with you, always," Logan added.

"Jeremy Bulloch was the quintessential English gentleman," Mark Hamill, the long-time "Star Wars" actor who starred as Luke Skywalker in the original trilogy and the sequel trilogy (2015-2019), said on Twitter. "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."

Fett's most memorable moment on screen is arguably when he froze "Star Wars" hero Han Solo in carbonite in "The Empire Strikes Back" (1980). Bulloch wore Fett's armor in that film and in "Return of the Jedi" (1983) while Jason Wingreen provided the voice of Fett in both films.

Bulloch also made brief appearances in other "Star Wars" roles: a minor role in the widely lampooned "Star Wars Holiday Special" (1978), as Imperial officer Lieutenant Sheckil in "The Empire Strikes Back" (1983) and as Captain Colton in "Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith" (2005), Deadline said.

Bulloch started acting at age 12 and has 109 movie credits to his name, according to the Internet Movie Database, between 1958 and 2016. Notably, he starred in the spy franchise "James Bond" as quartermaster Q's assistant Smithers in "For Your Eyes Only" (1981) and in "Octopussy" (1983). Bulloch also appeared several times in the 1965-1974 "Doctor Who" television series as characters Hal and Tor. 

He retired from "Star Wars" fan events in 2018, saying in a brief letter to fans that "it is with a heavy heart that I have decided to stop attending conventions and hang up the Fett helmet."

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for Space.com for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: https://qoto.org/@howellspace