Michael Culver, Actor from “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back”, Dead at 85: 'We Miss Him'

Michael Culver, an actor who held roles on stage, television and in film for more than four decades, died Feb. 27

<p>Lucasfilm Ltd./Youtube</p> Michael Culver in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Lucasfilm Ltd./Youtube

Michael Culver in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Michael Culver, a British actor best known for his role in the 1980 Star Wars movie The Empire Strikes Back, has died. He was 85.

Culver's agency Alliance Agents announced in a statement on Facebook Tuesday that he died Feb. 27. No cause of death has been revealed.

"We are very sad to confirm the passing of our friend and client Michael Culver," read the statement. "A career spanning over 50 years with notable roles in Sherlock Holmes, A Passage to India, Secret Army and, of course, one of the most memorable death scenes in the Star Wars franchise."

They added that Culver "largely gave up acting in the early 2000s to concentrate his efforts into his political activism."

"It's been an honor to have represented Michael for the last decade and to have taken him to some of the best Star Wars events in the UK and Europe," the statement added. "A real highlight was taking Michael to Celebration in Chicago in 2019. He was lost for words when he saw his queue line with nearly 200 people waiting to see him."

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<p>Lucasfilm Ltd./Youtube</p> Michael Culver in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Lucasfilm Ltd./Youtube

Michael Culver in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Culver was born in Hempstead in North London in 1938 to West End stage actor Roland Culver and Daphne Rye, who worked as a casting director in London-based theater, according to The Guardian.

He attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and began acting for the stage professionally in the late 1950s, making Broadway appearances in the Shakespeare plays King Henry V, Hamlet and Twelfth Night, according to Playbill. He subsequently made his debut on the West End in 1962, The Guardian reported.

The actor made his first onscreen appearances in 1961 with guest roles in the British television series You Can’t Win and Probation Officer, as well as the television movie The Night of the Match, per his IMDb profile.

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<p>Richard Keith Wolff/Avalon/Getty</p> Michael Culver on Jan. 3, 2007

Richard Keith Wolff/Avalon/Getty

Michael Culver on Jan. 3, 2007

Among over 100 onscreen credits Culver had to his name between the '60s and his final appearance in 2016's Servants' Quarters, the actor is best known for playing the character Captain Needa in Star Wars - Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.

Culver's character is memorably killed by Darth Vader (James Earl Jones) using his Force powers during his brief appearance in the film.

Related: Billy Dee Williams Recalls Backlash and Hatred From Fans Over Empire Strikes Back Ending (Exclusive)

<p>Don Smith/Radio Times/Getty</p> Michael Culver in 'Secret Army,' Sept. 13, 1977

Don Smith/Radio Times/Getty

Michael Culver in 'Secret Army,' Sept. 13, 1977

Aside from Star Wars, Culver also notably held a role in 1984's A Passage to India, which won Best Original Score and Best Actress (Peggy Ashcroft) among 11 total nominations at the Oscars in 1985.

Culver was married twice, first to actress Lucinda Curtis from 1962 to 1986, and to Amanda Ward, who survives him. He is also survived by sons Roderic and Justin, from his first marriage, a daughter from a different relationship, Susan, and four grandchildren, according to The Guardian.

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