updated 04/17/2013 AT 7:50 AM ET
•originally published 04/17/2013 AT 8:15 AM ET
Actor Richard LeParmentier, whose character Admiral Motti was viciously attacked by Darth Vader in 1977’s Star Wars for not believing in The Force, died Tuesday morning while visiting his family in Austin, Texas, they announced.
His publicist, Derek Maki, told the Associated Press that the death was unexpected. No cause was given.
In a statement, his children – Rhiannon, Stephanie and Tyrone LeParmentier – said: “At age 66, Richard Le Parmentier is one with the Force. We’re deeply grateful to the many devoted fans who have posted personal remembrances of our dad as a warm, genuine person with an unparalleled joie de vivre and gift for friendship (not to mention a mean petanque player).” Petanque is a European game, like bocce ball.
“To his fans and friends,” the family statement continued, “his lines were the ultimate power in the universe. He absolutely loved travelling the world and meeting his friends and fellow Star Wars fan[s].”
The family added, “He usually lived in Bath, England, but was visiting us in Austin, Texas. We feel very lucky to have been able to spend time with him on a regular basis. He was no respecter of convention, except comic conventions.”
Born in Pittsburgh, and moving to the U.K. in 1974, according to reports, LeParmentier appeared in more than 50 films and TV shows, including Octopussy, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Superman II, whose costar, British actress Sarah Douglas, was married to LeParmentier from 1981 to 1984.