Star Wars actor Richard LeParmentier dies

Richard LeParmentier and Darth Vader LeParmentier was best known for invoking the ire of Star Wars villain Darth Vader

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Richard LeParmentier, the US character actor known to millions as one of Darth Vader's first victims in Star Wars, has died aged 66, his family has announced.

The Pittsburgh native played Admiral Motti in the 1977 film, the disdainful Death Star commander whose "lack of faith" Vader found "disturbing".

LeParmentier, who moved to the UK in 1974, also had roles in Superman II, Octopussy and Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

In a statement, his family remembered him as "a talented actor and director".

The actor, who was based in Bath, had been visiting relatives in Austin, Texas, at the time of his death.

In a message to their "dad" signed by Rhiannon, Stephanie and Tyrone LeParmentier, he was described as "a warm, genuine person with an unparalleled joie de vivre".

LeParmentier's brief Star Wars appearance saw his character extol the virtues of the Empire's Death Star space station and pour scorn on Vader's "sad devotion to that ancient Jedi religion".

His diatribe brought a swift rebuke from the masked Vader, who used "The Force" to place a choke hold on his throat.

According to the Internet Movie Database, LeParmentier also wrote episodes of shows such as The Bill, Boon and Love Hurts.

The site states he was married for three years to actress Sarah Douglas, best known for playing Superman II villainess Ursa.

Douglas, who was apparently informed of her ex-husband's death by her Twitter followers, said she was "sad to hear the news".

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