Childhood & Early Life
Mark Richard Hamill was born in Oakland, California on 25th September 1951. His father William Thomas Hamill worked in the US Navy while his mother Virginia Suzanne (née Johnson) stayed home to raise the children. He has two brothers and four sisters.
While his father has English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish ancestry, his mother was half-Swedish and half-English. The family moved often, owing to his father’s job, and he studied in various schools in different cities.
He finished his schooling in 1969, after which he studied at the Los Angeles City College, where he majored in drama. His career soon began with a recurring role in the soap opera ‘General Hospital’ followed by a main role in the sitcom ‘The Texas Wheelers’. He played minor roles in many other shows over the next few years.
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Mark Hamill auditioned for the role of Luke Skywalker in the space opera film ‘Star Wars’ (1977). He won the role and the film, directed by George Lucas, became a huge success. The film earned more than $775 million on a mere $11 million budget. It earned critical acclaim and was nominated for ten Oscars, winning seven. It is still recognized as one of the most important works in the history of cinema. The film brought Hamill to international stardom.
He next played the lead role in the 1978 adventure comedy film ‘Corvette Summer’ which was a commercial success. The same year, he also appeared in the TV film ‘Star Wars: Holiday Special’ where he portrayed the role of Skywalker. It was met with negative reviews.
In 1980, he reprised his role of Skywalker in the film ‘The Empire Strikes Back’. The film, which was the first sequel to ‘Star Wars,’ was a commercial success. Though it received mixed reviews, it is regarded today as one of the best movies in history. It also won multiple Oscars. He played his role once again in ‘Return of the Jedi,’ the third film of the Star Wars franchise. The film was met with positive reviews.
He appeared in several other movies over the next few years, such as ‘Slipstream’ (1989), ‘The Guyver’ (1991) and ‘Timerunner’ (1993). From 1992 to 1994, he voiced several characters including the malicious supervillain ‘The Joker’ in the animated TV series ‘Batman: The Animated Series’. The show earned mostly positive reviews from the critics.
He reprised the role of ‘The Joker’ in the movie ‘Batman: Mask of the Phantasm’, which was a continuation of the series. Though the film didn’t do well commercially, it has received a cult status over the years.
Other movies he worked in over the next few years include ‘Watchers Reborn’ (1998), ‘Wing Commander’ (1999), ‘Sinbad: Beyond the Veil of Mists’ (2000), ‘Batman Beyond: The Return of the Joker’ (2000), ‘Comic Book: The Movie’ (2004), ‘Ultimate Avengers II’ (2006), ‘Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey’ (2008), and ‘Scooby Doo: Camp Scare’ (2010).
In 2012, he appeared in the British horror film ‘Airborne’ which was his second British film since ‘Britannia Hospital’. More recently, he played one of the supporting roles in the action spy comedy film ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’, which performed quite well commercially.
In 2015, he reprised his role of Luke Skywalker in ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’. The film grossed more than $2 billion, becoming the highest grossing film of the year. The film was met with positive reviews.
After working in movies such as ‘Batman: The Killing Joke’ (2016), ‘Brigsby Bear’ (2017) and ‘Bunyan and Babe’ (2017), he again played the role of Skywalker in ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’. The film was received positively by the critics and it earned more than a billion dollars, becoming the highest grossing film of 2017.
Throughout his career, he has done voice roles in several TV series as well. Some of these are ‘Metalocalypse’, ‘Ultimate Spiderman’ and ‘Trollhunters’. He has also worked in several video games, such as ‘Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger’, ‘Batman: Vengeance’, ‘Soldier of Fortune: Double Helix’, ‘Yakuza’ and ‘Batman: Arkham City’.
Mark Hamill started gaining popularity for his role of Luke Skywalker in the epic space opera film ‘Star Wars’. Directed by George Lucas, the film was about a Rebel Alliance, that aims to destroy the Death Star, the Galactic Space Station. Made on a mere budget of $11 million, the film became a huge success commercially, and earned more than $775 million. The film earned critical acclaim as well. Hamill reprised his role in several other films of the franchise.
The actor also earned fame for voicing the Joker in the animated TV series ‘Batman: The Animated Series’ based on the famous DC comics superhero ‘Batman’. It aired from 1992 to 1994. The series earned positive response from the critics and also won four Emmy Awards. It is regarded as one of the best animated TV shows in history. Hamill also portrayed the role of the Joker in other animated films, such as ‘Batman Beyond: The Return of the Joker’ and ‘Batman: The Killing Joke’.
Mark Hamill’s first serious relationship was with actress Anne Wyndham, his co-actor from ‘General Hospital’. However, their relationship eventually ended.
In 1978, Hamill married Marilou York, who works as a dental hygienist. They have three children named Nathan, Griffin, and Chelsea Elizabeth. They also have one grandson form Nathan.
He is an outspoken member of the Democratic Party. He called Mitt Romney a “snake oil salesman” before the 2012 presidential elections. He often criticizes the current US President Donald Trump’s tweets by reading them in his “Joker” voice.