Happy birthday Mark Hamill! The veteran actor celebrates his 63rd birthday today and in honour of this milestone lets take a look at two of his signature roles: Luke Skywalker and the Joker. It’s rare that an actor is known for having portrayed one of the most iconic heroes in pop culture as well as one of the most infamous villains of all time. As Luke Skywalker, Hamill was the quintessential hero of the original Star Wars trilogy. Luke’s farm-boy aesthetics were in direct contrast to Harrison Ford’s roguish Han Solo, and the young Jedi’s image adorned posters, toys and lunch boxes for decades.
After Return of the Jedi, Hamill moved to the dark side and began to portray villains. It was his performance as the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series that dispelled any notion that the actor would become typecast in heroic roles. Almost unrecognizable as the Joker, Hamill’s rendition of Batman’s arch enemy is as iconic as any of the other actors who’ve portrayed the Clown Prince of Crime. Hamill, with his gravelly voice and cackling laugh, has a place alongside Nicholson and Ledger, and for some fans he is the Joker.
Hamill will reprise his role as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode VII, due out next year. Happy 63rd Mr. Hamill. May the Force be with you, always.