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Michael Culver Dies: ‘Star Wars’ Actor Famed For Darth Vader Force-Choke Scene Was 85

Michael Culver Dies: ‘Star Wars’ Actor Famed For Darth Vader Force-Choke Scene Was 85

Star Wars actor Michael Culver has died aged 85.

The British actor played a small but famous role in Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back as Captain Needa, whose failure to capture the fleeing Millennium Falcon results in Darth Vader force-choking him to death aboard a Star Destroyer.

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“We are very sad to confirm the passing of our friend and client Michael Culver,” said his agency, Alliance Agents, in a statement reported by several websites. The actor passed away on February 27, Alliance Agents added.

The agency noted Culver’s was “a career spanning over 50 years with notable roles in Sherlock Holmes, A Passage to India, Secret Army and of course one of the most memorable death scenes in the Star Wars franchise.”

Culver had largely stopped acting in the early 2000s to concentrate on political activism, unusually becoming more outspoken as he got older. He was a major supporter of anti-Iraq War campaigner Brian Haw, who camped outside the UK’s Houses of Parliament for a decade, and acted in political theater productions in London.

His acting career began in 1961, with his numerous TV jobs including roles in The Avengers, The First Churchills, The Befrienders, The Adventures of Black Beauty, The Sweeney and The Darling Buds of May. Film appearances included roles in Goodbye Mr Chips and A Passage to India. Though his Star Wars role was by far his most well-known he would continue to work for decades after 1980s sci-fi movie and his final role, according to IMDb, was in 2016 film Servants Quarter.

“It’s been an honour to have represented Michael for for the last decade and to have taken him to some of the best Star Wars events in the UK and Europe,” added Alliance Agents.

“A real highlight was taking Michael to Celebration in Chicago in 2019. He was lost for words when he saw his queue line with nearly 200 people waiting to see him.

“We worked with Michael just three weeks ago at his last home signing with our friends at Elite Signatures.”

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