'Aliens', 'Star Wars' and 'Foyle's War' actor Jay Benedict dies due to coronavirus complications

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Jay Benedict (Credit: Ferdaus Shamim/WireImage)

Actor Jay Benedict, who appeared in movies like Aliens and TV shows including Emmerdale, has died following complications related to coronavirus.

He died on Saturday at the age of 68, his agents confirmed.

“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear client Jay Benedict, who this afternoon lost his battle with COVID-19. Our thoughts are with his family,” they said in a statement.

Born in California, Benedict worked predominantly in the UK and Europe, after moving here in the 1960s.

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Among his first movie appearances was in the role of Deak, a friend of Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: A New Hope, though the scenes did not feature in the final movie.

In 1986, he played the father of Newt in James Cameron's Aliens, and also had roles in movies including The Dark Knight Rises and The Dirty Dozen: Next Mission.

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Recently, he appeared in the French comedy-drama movie Madame with Toni Collette and Harvey Keitel.

He also worked extensively on British TV, appearing in shows like Jonathan Creek, The Bill, Lillyhammer with Sopranos star Steven Van Zandt, Casualty and Foyles War, as well as playing businessman Doug Hamilton in Emmerdale.

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Benedict was married to actress Phoebe Schofield, who appeared in Allo Allo and recently His Dark Materials.

They have two sons, Leopold and Freddie, who are also actors.

Benedict's friend, Allo Allo actress Vicki Michelle, called him a 'kind lovely man'.