Actor and Nuke the Fridge friend Richard LeParmentier has died at the age of 66. LeParmentier appeared in more than 50 films and television shows which spanned a career that lasted nearly 40 years. His most famous role was playing the Death Star’s Admiral Motti in George Lucas’ 1977 blockbuster hit “Star Wars.” The actor was famous for being choked by Darth Vader during a conference room scene. The circumstances surrounding LeParmentier’s death are unclear.
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1946 to British and Irish parents, he moved to the United Kingdom in 1974. He appeared in the films “Stardust” and “Rollerball” before landing the role of Admiral Motti. Originally, LeParmentier was asked by creator George Lucas to play an unnamed part with only a few lines, but he turned it down, before being offered the role that would launch his career.
LeParmentier appeared at many sci-fi/fantasy conventions, and once said of his famous “Star Wars” scene:
“I did the choking effect by flexing muscles in my neck. It set off a chain of events, that choking. I can’t do it anymore because, oddly enough, I have had an operation on my neck and had some 21st century titanium joints put into it.”
The actor was married from 1981 to 1984 to British actress Sarah Douglas, who played the Kryptonian supervillain Ursa in “Superman” and “Superman II.” LeParmentier also had a small part in the second film as a television reporter. He went on to have roles in the James Bond film “Octopussy,” and director Robert Zemeckis’ “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” In his later years, LaParmentier focused mainly on screenwriting.
He died at his home in Austin, Texas. He is survived by his three children Rhiannon, Stephanie, and Tyrone LeParmentier.
Special Note: Richard had a subtle sense of humor. After appearing at Frank and Son Collectible Show a couple of years ago, he left a wrinkled photo of the Death Star at his table. A light in the bottom left corner of the space station was circled and labeled, “My Office.” The photo was thrown aside by the actor, but many people found it to be quite humorous.