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Society

'Star Wars' Actor Died Suddenly

British actor Alfie Curtis, most prominently known for playing a hostile alien in the original "Star Wars" film, died. The British actor's death came nearly one year after franchise star Carrie Fisher died from complications of a heart attack.

Curtis passed away at 87 years old. The character actor had played roles in the 1980s television series "Cribb" and the 1980 David Lynch film "The Elephant Man," but was best known for his nefarious turn in the Star Wars franchise, The Sun reports.

In the original 1977 movie, Curtis frightened audiences as Dr. Evazan, a grotesque bar patron who drunkenly threatened hero Luke Skywalker in the Mos Eisley Cantina on the planet Tatooine.

"I have the death sentence of 12 systems," Evazan told the intimidated young Jedi, signaling that he was a dangerous lowlife not to be crossed with.

The character was promptly cut down by the lightsaber of Obi-Wan Kenobi, played by Sir Alec Guinness.

Actor Mark Hamill, who played Skywalker in the original "Star Wars" trilogy and reprised his famous role in the 2017 "The Last Jedi," took to social media to mourn Curtis' passing.

"ALFIE CURTIS made the #StarWars Mos Eisley Cantina scene (one of the most memorable I've ever been a part of) even MORE memorable," Hamill tweeted.

"As horrific as he was on-camera, off-camera he was funny, kind & a real gentleman," Hamill added. "Thanks Alf - you'll be missed. #RIP."

Evazan, Curtis' iconic character, was a galactic surgeon who ran afoul of the law after he began mutilating his patients. A bounty hunter tracked down the malevolent doctor and disfigured him as retribution, according to Comic Book Star Wars.

Evazan went on to a career of smuggling alongside his alien accomplice, Ponda Baba. His tough talk to Skywalker cost him his life and Baba his arm.

Curtis' death occurred a day before the one year-anniversary of the passing of the Star Wars franchise's princess, Fisher. The actress and screenwriter, beloved for her portrayal of Leia Organa, suffered a massive heart attack aboard a plane flight before going into cardiac arrest several days later on Dec. 27, 2016. She was 60 years old, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Her mother, actress Debbie Reynolds, died of a stroke the next day, on Dec. 28, 2016.

Medical examiners ruled that Fisher's death was prompted by atherosclerotic heart disease, drug use and sleep apnea. A toxicology report found that she had cocaine, methadone, MDMA, alcohol and opiates in her system when she admitted for medical care.

"My mom battled drug addiction and mental illness her entire life," actress Billie Lourd, Fisher's daughter, said in a statement in June 2017. "She ultimately died of it. She was purposefully open in all of her work about the social stigmas surrounding these diseases."