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13 Mark Hamill television roles before 'Star Wars'

Before he was Luke Skywalker, he was a lover, a fighter, a singer.

Top image: The Everett Collection

Was there a better moment in movies last year than when Luke Skywalker throws back his hood at the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens? It felt like unwrapping action figures on Christmas 1978 all over again. Right now, Mark Hamill is on set, wearing a cybernetic hand and robes, filming Episode VIII and we can't wait.

But we must wait. In the meantime, let's rewind the clock to a time before Star Wars. Before landing the role of a lifetime, Hamill appeared on dozens of television programs. The young Californian played the perfect troubled teen on the small screen in the early-'70s. He had range, too, showing off his singing, kissing and comedy skills.

Here are some of our favorite Mark Hamill roles from his early career.


The Bill Cosby Show


"Alright, you goons have had your fun, but why don't you just cool it," he says in "The Poet," in a tone that sounds like young Luke in the Mos Eisley cantina. The scrappy high schooler picks on somebody certainly not his own size, throwing a couple solid rights. Don't mock poetry! 

Image: NBC




Alas, we could not find a clip from this Andy Griffith flop, which paired the former Mayberry sheriff with Jerry Van Dyke in an educational setting. In "The Experiment," which aired a couple months prior to his Cosby Show scrape, a group of students, including Hamill, heads out with the headmaster on a weeklong trip into the country as a social experiment.

Image: CBS




Sporting a cowboy hat, Hamill plays a young farm boy who is first on the scene when a country singer goes down in a small plane crash. Naturally, William Conrad's Cannon is on the case.


The Partridge Family


Arg, braces! Laurie (Susan Dey) gets a mouth full of orthodontic metal which stymies her attempts to woo the cute boy across the street, Jerry (Hamill). A title like "Old Scrapmouth" probably didn't help kids feel better about getting braces.

Image: Sony Pictures Television


Night Gallery


Though it's a brief role, Hamill pops up in an eerie episode of Rod Serling's serial titled "There Aren't Any More MacBanes."


General Hospital


On the soap opera, Hamill played Kent Murray, who along with his sister is forced to live with their aunt after the death of their father.

Image: The Everett Collection


Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law

1972, 1973

Ooh la la. Hamill gets some serious French lessons in "The Pool House." After planting this kiss, the girl proclaims, "You really confuse me, you know that?"

Image: NBCUniversal


Room 222


As Matt Evans, Hamill turned up twice in the fifth and final season of this high-school-set dramedy that tackled all the issues of the day.

Image: The Everett Collection




After hanging up his Jedi robes (and before donning them again!) Hamill did a stunning amount of cartoon voice work. He's been everything from Spider-Man villains to a Pooh character. In 1973, he landed his first regular work as a voice actor with Jeannie, Hanna-Barbera's loose animated spin-off of I Dream of Jeannie. He voiced the lead character, the new "master" to Jeannie. Check out his singing skills on the theme song!

Image: Sony Pictures Television / Hanna-Barbera Productions


The Magician


In the Bill Bixby adventure that should have been a hit, Hamill gives a taste of his "That's not true! That's impossible!" freak-out as a hospital patient who can not discern magic trick from reality. "Fire! Fire! The flames got higher!" he screams, convinced the magician's assistant has been burned alive.

Image: Paramount / CBS


The Manhunter


Ken Howard headlined this series about an Idahoan P.I. in the 1930s. Hamill pops up in "The Lodester Ambush."

Image: CBS


The Texas Wheelers


Hamill co-starred alongside Gary Busey in this sitcom from MTM Productions, the company's follow-up to The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Bob Newhart Show. It flopped. Read more about it here.

Image: The Everett Collection


The Streets of San Francisco

1975, 1977

Born in Oakland, Hamill returned to the Bay Area twice for this classic cop show. In his second appearance, "Innocent No More," he plays a member of a juvenile gang.

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