Actor who played choked Death Star commander dies

Character actor Richard LeParmentier, who as the Death Star commander in the original "Star Wars" learned the hard way that Darth Vader doesn't joke about the force, has died. He was 66.

His publicist, Derek Maki, says LeParmentier died suddenly Tuesday morning in Austin while visiting his children. Maki says he doesn't know the cause.

LeParmentier was born in Pittsburgh, Pa., but moved to Britain in 1974 and had been living in Bath, England, when he died.

As Admiral Motti in "Star Wars," LeParmentier's character mocks Vader's "sad devotion to that ancient Jedi religion." Vader responds by using the force to choke the young commander, but allows him to live.

LeParmentier appeared frequently in British television programs throughout his career.

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