Sad news today. Admiral Ozzel is dead. Or rather, Michael Sheard, the actor who played him, has been shuttled up to the Super Star Destroyer in the sky.
I met Michael Sheard at a book signing in Farnborough about 4 years ago, and he was a really cool guy - full of anecdotes about the times he'd had at sci-fi conventions and stories about "the Appreciators". My friend Chris and I spent our whole lunch hour chatting to him; just for the hell of it. Probably one of the nicest guys you'd ever meet - and totally unstarry and down to earth, despite the fact of having had two of the most memorable bit parts in two of the most popular movies ever made (Ozzel in The Empire Strikes Back, and Hitler in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade). I'm sure that's part of it - he knew that he was never really a "star" and never pretended to be; though he really enjoyed the attention these cult roles gave him - and why not?
I think there's a strong possibility that I'll be watching The Empire Strikes Back tonight...
"My lord, there are so many uncharted settlements. It could be smugglers..."