Actor Mark Hamill, who rocketed to stardom as Luke Skywalker in “Star Wars,” got a star of his own Thursday when he was immortalized on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in front of scores of fans, some of whom waited hours to catch a glimpse of him.
“You are with me through thick and thin and the highs and the lows and everywhere in between,” Hamill told the cheering crowd during his speech. “If it weren’t for the public, I’d be nowhere. From Jedi to Joker and back again, it’s been a fantastic ride. Thank you so much, and may the force be with each and every one of you.”
Hamill, who lends his voice to the villainous Joker in animated “Batman” and “Justice League” shows, punctuated his comments with a cackling Joker laugh.
Actor Harrison Ford, who portrayed Han Solo in four “Star Wars” films, and the franchise’s creator, George Lucas, were among those on hand to pay tribute to the 66-year-old Hamill at the ceremony in front of the Disney- owned El Capitan Theatre. The event came 19 days before the latest entry in the franchise, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” is released on digital and Blu-ray.
“Mark is a friend that I don’t see very often,” Ford said. “Our lives have diverged to a certain extent but I am very pleased for him. He has been the master of his own experience, his own life. And he is as he always was — a quiet, sincere, honest person. He’s not a grandstander and I think he has found comfort and utility and control of his destiny, and I’m happy for you pal.”
While accepting the honor, Hamill told the crowd, “Words truly fail me. It’s hard to convey my gratitude, my joy, the exhilaration of being recognized this way.”
He joked, “I haven’t been this speechless since `Force Awakens,”‘ referencing the “Star Wars” sequel in which he briefly appeared but did not speak.
Hamill also hailed Lucas, noting if it “weren’t for the genius of George Lucas, I wouldn’t be standing here today.” He also said he knew while working with Ford that he was in the “presence of greatness,” and that Ford was “one of the best actors in film history.”
“He also gave me the great advice: `Hey kid, don’t get cocky.”‘
“Star Wars” was Hamill’s first feature film. He was discovered in a workshop musical comedy called “Anthems in E-Flat Calliope” the summer before starting college at Los Angeles City College.
Hamill made his television debut in a 1970 episode of the short-lived CBS comedy-drama “Headmaster.” His later television credits included episodes of “The Partridge Family,” “Night Gallery” “Cannon,” “The Bill Cosby Show,” “Room 222” and “Lucas Tanner.”
Hamill was a cast member of the comedy “The Texas Wheelers,” which was dropped from ABC’s schedule after four episodes in 1974.
Hamill’s other film credits include “Corvette Summer,” “The Big Red One” and “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.” His Broadway credits include “The Elephant Man” and “Amadeus.”
Hamill has been a prolific voiceover artist in animated series and video games, including as the Joker in “Batman” and “Justice League” projects.
—City News Service
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