Erik Bauersfeld, the American actor who voiced the fan favourite Star Wars character Admiral Ackbar, has died aged 93. Bauersfeld brought the iconic Lucasfilm creation to life alongside original puppeteer Tim Rose.
Bauersfeld uttered arguably one of the most famous lines from the seven-film series so far, the phrase "It's a trap!" in the third instalment Return of the Jedi in 1983. The words have since gone on to inspire many humorous gifs and memes that frequent the internet and have become somewhat cult-like in the eyes of the Star Wars fanbase.
Bauersfeld reprised his role just last year, in The Force Awakens directed by JJ Abrams. Around the film's release in December, he jokingly explained to BBC Radio 5 Live how Abrams called him, asking him to appear in the eagerly-anticipated sequel. "Somebody called me up one morning, and it was JJ, and he said, 'We want you to do an audition, come on over,'" he recollected. "There was a screen, and there was Ackbar. I went up to the screen... 'It's a trap!'"
It had been rumoured that Bauersfeld would appear in currently untitled instalment Star Wars 8 as the rebellion's doom-laden Admiral too.
He died on Sunday 3 April at his home in Berkeley, California, his manager told The Hollywood Reporter, after a respected career as a radio dramatist that spanned more than 50 years. When it comes to Star Wars, Bauersfeld also voiced the character Bib Fortuna and Jabba the Hutt's servant, both in Return of the Jedi, but he has also lent his voice to more recent pictures such as Steven Spielberg's 2001 film A.I: Artificial Intelligence and 2015's Crimson Peak, helmed by visionary Guillermo del Toro.
Raised in New York, Bauersfeld was made director of drama and literature at Berkeley radio station KPFA in 1963, and oversaw dozens of acclaimed productions during 31 years in the role.
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