There are few actors in the history of Hollywood who have been linked to their iconic character portrayals as much as Mark Hamill. His work in Star Wars as Luke Skywalker not only made him a household name but also would come to dominate a good portion of his career. Still, Hamill managed to do some incredible things in entertainment that many people may not know about. Not only has his work spanned efforts in front of the screen, but also behind it and in various different mediums. This week, we look to shed some light on a few of the more obscure facts you already knew but may have never associated with Mark Hamill.
Hamill has had an Extensive Career in the World of Comics
Many people know of Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker but his contribution to the comicbook world is equally as epic. In the 90’s, Hamill made his first major mark as the voice of The Joker in Batman: The Animated Series. The show lasted only two seasons but the character and his personification of it lived on in six other Batman series as well as Superman and Justice League cartoons. He also jumped ship for a short period voicing the evil Hobgoblin in several Spider-Man animated adventures throughout the late 90’s.
His work in the comic world eventually spilled over as he became a writer for the Dark Horse comic series The Black Pearl. He also became a familiar face at comicbook conventions as his celebrity in Star Wars wasn’t the only reason people wanted to see him anymore. As an avid collector, Hamill has always enjoyed comics and has taken any opportunity to place his stamp in that world. While many may not be aware, he also played the DC villain The Trickster in the original Flash live action series.
The Car Accident that Nearly Ended it All
Shortly after filming Star Wars, Hamill was involved in a terrible car accident that nearly ended his career. His condition required plastic surgery to repair the damage and affected his appearance in the sequel The Empire Strikes Back. Early on in that film, Luke is attacked by a snow beast and scarred across his face, giving an easy explanation to Hamill’s appearance. Many have said that it was subtle but when viewing the film series back to back, the changes to Hamill’s face in such a short time frame are very noticeable.
The accident itself is a bit of a mystery. Hamill’s recollection of the event in a recorded interview with Gossip magazine is a bit vague. He claims to have been distracted in his BMW, missing an off ramp and being unable to navigate a four lane highway. Reports of his condition after the crash varied greatly from needed full facial reconstruction to minor, yet noticeable plastic surgery.
Mark Hamill has a very special distinction, shared only with Joe Mantegna and Elizabeth Taylor. These three not only played fictional characters on the long-running show The Simpsons but also played themselves on different occasions. He shared the screen with Mantegna in the episode Mayored to the Mob. Hamill also had the distinction of playing the role of Luke Skywalker for the NPR radio play version of Star Wars in 1981 and in The Empire Strikes Back in 1983. He was unable to finish off the trilogy a few years later as a scheduling conflict made it impossible.
Hamill will rejoin original Star Wars cast members Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher in the latest installment of the franchise entitled Episode VII: The Force Awakens due out in theaters later this year.