Character actor William “Bill” Hootkins died Oct. 23 in Pacific Palisades, Calif. of pancreatic cancer. He was 57.
The bearded, burly Texan appeared in films, TV shows and on stage in the U.S. and in England, with roles in films including “Star Wars,” “Batman” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”
Born in Dallas, Texas, his career in the theater began at St. Mark’s School of Texas and with the Harlequin Players. He then attended Princeton U. where he performed with Theatre Intime, and continued his training at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts.
“Star Wars,” in which he played Red Six, was one of this first feature roles, and he went on to appear in films including “Valentino,” “Hear My Song,” “A River Runs Through It,” and the TV version of “The Magnificent Ambersons.” Most recently, he appeared in “Colour Me Kubrick,” to be released in 2006.
On TV, he appeared in shows including “The West Wing,” “The Tomorrow People,” “Valerie” and “Taxi.”
On stage, he played Alfred Hitchcok in “Hitchcock Blonde” on London’s West End, which had been skedded to come to Broadway. He also received good notices for an unabridged recorded version of “Moby Dick” released last year.
He is survived by his wife Carolyn, his mother, a sister and a brother.
Donations may be made to The San Ignacio Lagoon Whale Conservation Fund, International Community Foundation,
11300 Sorrento Valley Rd. Ste 115, San Diego, CA 92121.