Biography

While British actor Anthony Daniels' face and name may not be immediately familiar to the moviegoing public, his primary film role most assuredly is: fussy aureate android C-3PO in the phenomenally popular Star Wars saga. Though acting was his passion, Daniels did not attempt to make it his career until his mid-twenties. After three years in drama school, Daniels won a job on BBC Radio and soon moved to theater, joining Britain's Young Vic Company. Daniels had been a professional thespian for only two years when he, despite initial reluctance, agreed to play C-3PO in George Lucas' record-breaking sci-fi fantasy Star Wars (1977). Paired with the bolder droid R2D2, C-3PO fretfully joined Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia in the old-fashioned battle against the evil Dark Side; his gold anthropomorphized machine body became a prominent symbol of Lucas' elaborately conceived cinematic universe. The blockbuster sequels, The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983), also featured Daniels as the popular droid. Though Daniels moved on to other acting projects, including the animated Lord of the Rings (1978), I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle (1989), and the fourth installment of British television's acclaimed Prime Suspect series, he also authored the comic book The Protocol Offensive about C-3PO. When Lucas began production in the late '90s on the trio of prequels to the original Star Wars, Daniels was one of the few original cast members the story allowed to return -- and Star Wars: Episode 1 -- The Phantom Menace (1999) finally revealed the origin of a pre-gilded age C-3PO. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi