Mark Richard Hamill is an American actor who is best known for his portrayal of Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy (1977–1983) and as the voice of the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series and various other DC Comics media. He has been credtied with voicing Ozai in Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Hamill was raised in Oakland, California, the son of Virginia Suzanne (née Johnson) and William Thomas Hamill, who was a captain in the U.S. Navy. He was one of seven children, two brothers, Will and Patrick, and four sisters, Terry, Jan, Jeanie, and Kim. As a child, his father's career meant numerous relocations, and he graduated from Nile C. Kinnick High School in Japan. He majored in drama at Los Angeles City College.
In 1978, he married dental hygienist Marilou York. They have three children together: Nathan, Griffin and Chelsea. During the 1972 presidential race, Mark Hamill campaigned for candidate George McGovern. During the 2008 Democratic primary, Hamill spoke on behalf of Barack Obama.
After the success of Star Wars, Hamill found that audiences identified him very closely with the role of Luke Skywalker. He attempted to avoid typecasting by appearing in Corvette Summer and the better-known World War II film The Big Red One. As the 1980s wore on, Hamill did little film work outside of Star Wars. Instead, he acted on Broadway, starring in Amadeus, The Elephant Man, for which he received a Drama Desk Award nomination, and other stage plays, for which he received positive reviews.
Hamill played the villainous Hawkins in the Swedish action movie Hamilton in 1998. Some of his other film credits include The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia, Britannia Hospital, Slipstream, The Guyver, and the 1995 remake of Village of the Damned. In 1990, he played an escaped mental patient who terrorizes Michael Dudikoff and his wife in Midnight Ride. He also narrated The Sci-Fi Files, a four-part documentary about the influence of science fiction upon present society. In 2001, Hamill starred in the feature film Thank You, Good Night alongside Christian Campbell, J.P. Pitoc, and Sally Kirkland.
Mark Hamill has gained a reputation as a prolific voice actor, beginning with his acclaimed role as the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series (1992–1995), as well as most of the other spin-off series, video games and films. Hamill had initially played a guest voice-role as corrupt businessman Ferris Boyle in the episode "Heart of Ice", and was delighted when offered the role of the Joker, one of his favorite characters. The most prominent feature of his portrayal that has garnered such acclaim is his dynamic use of laughter to express the Joker's mood. Hamill referred to the Joker's laugh as being like a musical instrument and would practice laughing maniacally while driving to recording sessions, commenting that no one found this behavior strange in Los Angeles.
Hamill is the co-writer of The Black Pearl, a comic book miniseries published by Dark Horse Comics. He wrote an introduction to the Trade Paperback Batman: Riddler Two-Face which reprints various stories involving The Riddler and Two-Face to tie in with Batman Forever. He has also written several stories for Simpsons Comics, including Catastrophe in Substitute Springfields!, which parodies DC's Crisis on Infinite Earths and also references several other classic comics.
Reprints of Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces, which influenced Lucas as he was developing the Star Wars films, issued after the release of Star Wars in 1977 used the image of Hamill as Luke Skywalker on the cover.