Movies

Actor in infamous 'Star Wars' scene has died

April 16, 2013 at 2:56 PM ET

Richard LeParmentier in 2012.
Albert L. Ortega / Getty Images file
Richard LeParmentier in 2012.

Actor Richard LeParmentier, whose character was infamously choked by villain Darth Vader in the original "Star Wars" movie, has died at age 66, his representative confirms to TODAY.

LeParmentier died suddenly, his son Tyrone told Derek Maki, who represented the actor.

LeParmentier's name may be unfamiliar to many, but "Star Wars" fans well know his most famous scene.

"Don't try to frighten us with your sorcerer's ways, Lord Vader," says LeParmentier in his role as General (sometimes described as Admiral) Motti. "Your sad devotion to that ancient religion has not helped you conjure up the stolen data tapes, or given you clairvoyance enough to find the rebels' hidden fort--"

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At that point, LeParmentier's character stops speaking and grabs at his throat as if he was being choked by an invisible hand. Darth Vader (voice of James Earl Jones) then delivers one of his most famous lines, "I find your lack of faith disturbing."

The actor's family noted that LeParmentier, who lived in Bath, England, was visiting his children in Austin, Texas when he died. The family remembered him in a statement that fondly referenced his most famous scene.

"Every time we find someone's lack of faith disturbing, we'll think of him," the family statement said. "At age 66, Richard Le Parmentier is one with the Force."

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The statement went on to thanks LeParmentier's friends and fellow "Star Wars" fans, saying it was tributes from those people who gave the family "all the best lines in this message."

LeParmentier, who was also a screenwriter, was still working right up until the end, the family said. "He edited another draft of his latest project two days before death, with its sorcerer's ways, took him from us," the statement noted in another homage to the famed scene. "He has gone to the Stars, and he will be missed. We love you dad, and thank you to everyone. Love, Rhiannon, Stephanie, and Tyrone Le Parmentier."

LeParmentier also had numerous film and television appearances, though his most famous after "Star Wars" was the role of Lt. Santino in 1988's "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" He also provided the narration for the 2004 video game "Soldiers: Heroes of World War II."

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