Mark Hamill would probably be most universally recognized for playing the role of Luke Skywalker in the first Star Wars trilogy. Though today, he is not as frequently seen in front of the camera, he is still heard by legions of sci-fi and cartoon fans. He’s become a sought after actor for voice roles in a number of animated productions. You might recognize his voice in video games too, where he’s acted in several Lucasfilm games.
Although George Lucas wanted to cast almost total unknowns for the main parts in Star Wars: Episode IV, Mark Hamill was not without acting experience. After majoring in drama at Los Angeles City College, he quickly moved into acting, even doing some work as a voice actor prior to Star Wars, for the Hanna-Barbera cartoon Jeannie. He also starred in the pilot of the popular show Eight is Enough playing David, the eldest brother. He had a recurring part on the soap opera General Hospital and was in his first made for television film The City.
Despite such credits, Mark Hamill, wasn’t an “it” star, when Lucas cast him. Yet it can be said that his star was certainly rising. Within days of the first Star Wars release, he was probably one of the most easily identified actor. In 1977, though, just before the release of Star Wars Hamill had a serious car accident, resulting in significant facial injuries. He required plastic surgery, which only partially restored his look. You can see this quite clearly in The Empire Strikes Back, where a clear difference exists in his face when compared to the previous film.
After finishing the Star Wars trilogy, Mark Hamill spent time on Broadway, receiving excellent reviews for his role in The Elephant Man. He further had several starring roles in films during the making of the trilogy. These include the films, Corvette Summer, The Big Red One, and The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia.
Much of Hamill’s work beyond these films was as a voice actor, with roles in several Hayao Miyazaki films, Nausica and Castle in the Sky. He did have the occasional on-screen appearance. In Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back he lampoons his Luke Skywalker character. He’s been known for starring in Indie productions like Walking Across Egypt. His primary love, though, appears to be the voice work he adores so much.
In addition to acting, Mark Hamill penned a series of comics called The Black Pearl, and published in 1996. He’s continued to work in voice acting, with an impressive amount of credits to his name in television, film and video game productions. Hamill is also an ardent supporter of the comic book industry and makes many appearances at comic book conventions.