Whatsonstage.com reports that William Hootkins (AKA: Porkins) has passed away after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 58.
Here's a snipet from Whatsonstage.com:
American stage and screen actor William Hootkins - who lived and worked for many years in the UK and was last seen on the London stage in Hitchcock Blonde - has passed away after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Diagnosed earlier this year, he died yesterday (Sunday 23 October 2005) at St Johns Hospital in Santa Monica near his Californian home. He was 58.
Born in Dallas, Texas on 5 July 1948, the ebullient Hootkins – known as Bill or ‘Hoot’ to his friends - made his stage debut in a local school production that co-starred a fellow student who later had success in Hollywood, Tommy Lee Jones. He initially tried to distance himself from drama by studying astrophysics and Chinese linguistics at Princeton University, but soon became involved with Princeton’s Intime Theatre group. On the recommendation of his friend, John Lithgow, he moved to the UK after graduation to study at LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts) and subsequently made his home in this country.
In a busy career, Hootkins worked regularly on both sides of the Atlantic. His first film role was in 1977, playing Jedi fighter Jek Porkins in George Lucas' Star Wars. Though the part was small, it had a big impact. He joked in a Whatsonstage.com interview two years ago (See 20 Questions, 28 Jul 2003): “In a sense, my career's been downhill ever since. Fans still come to greet me at the stage door with action figures of my character and embarrassing photographs for me to sign.”
That stinks. He's the second SW actor to die this year.