Our hearts go out to the family of Andrew Jack, as the Star Wars actor and famed dialect coach has died of COVID-19 complications at the age of 76.
According to TMZ, the performer lost his battle against the virus at a hospital near London while his wife Gabrielle Rogers was forced to stay quarantined in Australia. They were unable to say goodbye to each other in person.
The actor’s representative Kill McCullough told the outlet the family doubts whether a full funeral is possible due to social distancing regulations.
Gabrielle confirmed the tragic news in an Instagram post Monday, writing:
“It breaks my heart to let you know we lost a man today. Andrew Jack was diagnosed with Coronavirus when admitted to hospital less than 48 hours ago in suburban London. He died today. He was in no pain, and he slipped away peacefully knowing that his children, step children, grandchildren, brother, friends, and I were all “with” him. Take care out there, lovers x.”
While fans may recognize Jack from his role as Resistance Major Caluan Ematt in two Star Wars films, he was best known for his work as a dialect coach.
Not only did he craft the accents for recent Star Wars films, Jack was credited with teaching Greek and Trojan accents for 2004’s Troy and forming Middle Earth accents for Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings film trilogy. While working with voice coach Roisin Carty, Jack helped create the dialects for not only the “Common Tongue,” English in the films, but also several other fictional languages created by author J.R.R. Tolkien, like Sindarin and Quenya.
The voice coach’s Hollywood career kicked off in 1989 by teaching English actor Julian Glover to sound American for Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade. Years later, he taught Robert Downey Jr. how to speak like silent film star Charlie Chaplin in the 1992 dramedy Chaplin, which earned RDJ an Oscar nomination.
Jack went on to coach Irish actor Pierce Brosnan on how to speak like James Bond in three of Brosnan’s four 007 movies: GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, and Die Another Day. He also helped Christian Bale hone that Batman snarl for the film Batman Begins — a process the actor apparently took very, very seriously.
The voice coach recalled on his website:
“Christian took this all the way. I remember one time his wife came up to me on set and asked me: ‘Andrew could you please ask Christian to say something like Christian? I haven’t heard his own voice for two years now.’ … Even in his private life Christian stays in the character he is playing. He’ll say ordinary things to his wife like: ‘Honey, shall I make some coffee?’ as Batman! It’s extreme, but it’s fantastic to work with somebody who is so dedicated.”
Jack found his way back to the Batman franchise earlier this year by working with Robert Pattinson and others in the cast of The Batman, which shut down production in Britain on March 14 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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