Mark Richard Hamill was born on 25 September 1951 in Oakland, California. His father being a captain in the United States Navy, Mark grew up in a variety of places, including California, Virginia, New York City, and Japan. Mark was studying drama at Los Angeles City Drama when he landed his first professional acting role as a guest star on the television series "The Bill Cosby Show". Between 1972 and 1973, Mark played Kent Murray on the television soap "General Hospital" and also did guest appearances on other television shows and in TV movies. In 1974, Mark co-starred in "The Texas Wheelers", a down-home sitcom that only lasted a season.

Mark Hamill made his screen debut in "Star Wars: A New Hope" in 1977. Shortly before the release of "Star Wars", Mark was involved in a car crash that resulted in surgeons having to reconstruct parts of his face. Apart from his popular role as Luke Skywalker in the second and third part of the "Star Wars" trilogy between 1977 and 1983, Mark appeared in films such as "Corvette Summer" (1978), "The Big Red One" (1980), and "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" (1980).

After "Return of the Jedi" (1983), Mark Hamill concentrated on theatre, and appeared in several Broadway plays, including "The Elephant Man", and "Amadeus" for which he won excellent reviews. His most challenging role was the one he originated, that of Tony Hart in "Harrigan 'n Hart". He sang and danced in that role, and garnered a Drama Desk nomination for Best Actor in a Musical. He also did several off- Broadway plays.

Returning to film in 1989, Mark has also made several guest appearances on television shows such as "Just Shoot Me!" and "The Simpsons". Using his talent for disguising his voice, Mark is much in demand as a voice-over actor. He is especially famous for providing the voice of The Joker in "The Adventures of Batman & Robin". In addition, Mark starred in several hit video games, for example the "Wing Commander" series as Colonel Christopher Blair.

In May 2010, Mark Hamill announced that he will be directing the film version of "The Black Pearl". "The Black Pearl" is a five-part graphic novel Mark co-wrote with Eric Johnson, was released on 18 September 1996.

Mark has been married to Marilou York since 1978. They have three children: Nathan, Griffin and Chelsea. Their main residence is in Malibu, California.

-- sources: Sandra Brennan (All Movie Guide) &