By Michael Baadke
Actor Mark Hamill is best known for his role as Luke Skywalker, the young protagonist of the three Star Wars films released between 1977 and 1983. Hamill reprised his role as an older Skywalker in the 2015 movie Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens, and is expected to feature in the next film in the series, Star Wars: Episode VIII, which has an anticipated release date at the end of 2017.
Mark Richard Hamill was born Sept. 25, 1951, in Oakland, Calif., and studied drama at the Los Angeles City College Theatre Academy. He landed guest roles on several television series and had a recurring role on the TV daytime drama General Hospital before auditioning for and landing the part of Luke Skywalker.
Star Wars, which was later rebranded as Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope, was released in 1977 to unprecedented worldwide popularity, and Hamill’s fame was cemented with the similar success of the two follow-up films.
Though he is forever associated with Luke Skywalker, Hamill has taken on many varied film roles over the years. He is also known as a versatile voice actor acclaimed for his performances as the Joker, arch-nemesis of Batman in Batman: The Animated Series and associated spinoff productions and video games.
The United States Postal Service issued a set of 15 Star Wars stamps on May 25, 2007 (Scott 4143). The stamp depicting Luke Skywalker (4143e) shows him as portrayed by Hamill in the films.
More recently, Great Britain’s Royal Mail issued a set of Star Wars stamps on Oct. 20, 2015, that includes a single 1st-class stamp depicting Hamill in his role as young Skywalker (Scott 3443).