Mark Dodson, Voice of ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Gremlins’ Characters, Dies at 64

Mark Dodson, who voiced strange puppet creatures in “Star Wars,” including Salacious B. Crumb, the cackling monkey-lizard pet of Jabba the Hutt, and “Gremlins” films, died on Saturday. He was 64.

His death was confirmed in statements on social media by his agent, Peter DeLorme, and the Evansville Horror Con, the Indiana fan convention where he had been scheduled to appear over the weekend. No cause of death was given.

Mr. Dodson’s career began in 1983 on “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi,” when he voiced Salacious B. Crumb, the court jester of Jabba the Hutt that was known for its maniacal laugh.

In a 2020 interview, Mr. Dodson explained how he had gotten the role by accident.

He was auditioning for Adm. Ackbar, a leader during the Clone Wars, but was so nervous that he asked for a break to compose himself, and was overheard using a deranged voice that the casting director thought was perfect for Crumb.

That led to Mr. Dodson to voice several of the Mogwai in “Gremlins,” the 1984 comedy-horror film about a young man who accidentally unleashes a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters on a small town on Christmas Eve.

“Let’s say I did get Ackbar — I never would’ve gotten the ‘Gremlins,’” he said. “The ‘Gremlins’ came because the ‘Gremlins’ were made by the same guys who made Salacious. That’s why it came up, ‘They look a lot the same. Wouldn’t it be great for the Gremlins to have that same voice! Who is that guy?’”

Mr. Dodson continued working in both franchises, voicing characters in the 1985 television movie “Ewoks: The Battle for Endor” and “Gremlins 2: The New Batch” in 1990.

He voiced a scavenger in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (2015) and appeared as an uncredited zombie in George Romero’s “Day of the Dead” (1985).

Mark Dodson was born on Feb. 1, 1960, in St. Louis, according to IMDb.

He also voiced characters in several video games, including “Star Trek Online,” “Ghostrunner,” “Bendy and the Dark Revival,” and “Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga,” once again as Crumb.

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