Alfie Curtis, who played the menacing character who threatened Luke Skywalker in the Mos Eisley cantina scene in 1977’s Star Wars, has passed away. It’s been a heartbreaking year and a half for fans of the original Star Wars trilogy, beginning with the loss of Kenny Baker, the actor who embodied the lovable droid R2-D2, on August 13, 2016, at age 81; and the untimely death of Princess-turned-General Leia actor Carrie Fisher, who passed away at age 60 on December 27, 2016.
Now, word has surfaced that Alfie Curtis, whose brief but memorable role as Dr. Evazan in Episode IV: A New Hope made him a Star Wars icon, has passed away. According to THR, a family spokesman told the publication that Curtis died November 30 in Essex town of Billericay in England. He was 87.
Born on July 30, 1930 in Stepney, London, England, Curtis’ first screen appearance came in a pair of episodes in the British TV series Bowler in 1973. Two years later, he played a variety of roles in five episodes of another British TV series, Larry Grayson. Curtis’ best-known role, however, came in 1977 in Star Wars, in a scene as Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness) and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) enter the “wretched hive of scum and villainy” known as the Mos Eisley cantina, where they encounter Curtis’ Dr. Evazan and Ponda Baba (Tommy Ilsley) at the bar.
In the scene, Dr. Evazan famously warns Luke after he bumps into Bonda Baba, “He doesn’t like you. I don’t like you, either. You just watch yourself. We’re wanted men. I have the death sentence on 12 systems.” After Luke replies, “I’ll be careful,” Dr. Evazan yells, “You’ll be dead!” After Obi-Wan tries to diffuse the situation by saying, “This little one isn’t worth the effort, let me get you something,” Dr. Evazan refuses the overture and tosses Luke across the cantina into a table, which prompts his Jedi mentor to draw his lightsaber and cut Ponda Baba’s right arm off.
Curtis went on to do more than a dozen more film and TV roles in his career, perhaps most notably, as the Milkman opposite John Hurt in 1980’s The Elephant Man. And while he was uncredited for his most famous role, Star Wars fans will always remember his vital contribution to the film. Hamill certainly does, recalling in a tweet Tuesday that the cantina scene was one of the “most memorable” scenes he’s ever been a part of. Of Curtis, Hamill says, “As horrific as he was on-camera, off-camera he was funny, kind & a real gentleman.” See Hamill’s tweet below:
ALFIE CURTIS made the #StarWars Mos Eisley Cantina scene (one of the most memorable I’ve ever been a part of) even MORE memorable. As horrific as he was on-camera, off-camera he was funny, kind & a real gentleman. Thanks Alf- you’ll be missed. #RIP – mh
3:32 AM – Dec 27, 2017
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REST IN PEACE ALFIE CURTIS: JULY 28, 1930 – NOVEMBER 30, 2017