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Jason Wingreen, Original Voice of Boba Fett in ‘Star Wars,’ Dies at 95

Jason Wingreen, who first provided the voice of “Star Wars” bounty hunter Boba Fett, in 1980’s “The Empire Strikes Back,” died on Dec. 25. He was 95.

Wingreen appeared in films including 1980’s “Airplane!” and was a busy character actor on TV, guesting on series such as “Twilight Zone” (three episodes, including 1960’s “A Stop at Willoughby,” in which he played the train conductor); “The Untouchables” (a Chicago police captain); multiple episodes of “The Fugitive,” “The FBI” and “Ironside”; “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”; the original “Star Trek” (Dr. Linke on the episode “The Empath”); “Seinfeld”; and “Matlock” (a judge). He played Harry the Bartender on “All in the Family” and “Archie Bunker’s Place” for a total of 117 episodes.

In “The Empire Strikes Back,” Boba Fett captured Harrison Ford’s Han Solo after Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) betrays Solo. Wingreen had first auditioned for the part of Yoda, but ended up with four lines of dialogue as Boba Fett.

Wingreen was not initially credited with the part, and in the 2004 DVD version of “The Empire Strikes Back,” his voice was replaced by that of Temuera Morrison.

In addition to “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Airplane!,” his film credits included Gregory Peck Western “The Bravados” (1958), in which he made his big-screen debut, as well as “A Guide for the Married Man” (1967), “Marlowe” (1969), “They Only Kill Their Masters” (1972), “The Terminal Man” (1974) and “Oh, God! You Devil” (1984).

Born in Brooklyn and raised in Queens, Wingreen attended Brooklyn College, and he served in the Army Air Forces in Europe during World War II.

Wingreen’s wife, Gloria Scott Backe, died in the mid-’90s. Survivors include a son, Ned; two grandchildren; and a sister.

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