Jason Wingreen, the prolific character actor who provided the voice of Boba Fett in “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back,” passed away Dec. 25 following a brief illness. He was 95.
Wingreen amassed nearly 200 credits during his four-decade career, ranging from “The Twilight Zone” and “Star Trek” to “Airplane!” and “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” However, he’s probably most recognizable from his recurring role as bartender Harry Snowden on “All in the Family” and its spinoff “Archie Bunker’s Place.”
The Brooklyn-born actor auditioned to voice Yoda in “The Empire Strikes Back,” a part that famously went to Frank Oz, but was instead given four lines of dialogue spoken by the then-mysterious Boba Fett. “I think the actual work, aside from the hellos and goodbyes and all that, could have been no more than 10 minutes,” he once said of the role.
Wingreen received no credit or residuals for his contribution to the film; in fact, The Hollywood Reporter notes, his involvement in “The Empire Strikes Back” wasn’t even publicly revealed until 2000. When director George Lucas released the special edition of “Empire” in 2004, he replaced Wingreen’s dialogue with new lines recorded by actor Temuera Morrison, who played Boba Fett’s father Jango in the “Star Wars” prequels.