HollywoodReporter.com and a variety of other sources are reporting that Ian Abercrombie, better known to Star Wars fans as Palpatine on The Clone Wars, passed away yesterday at the age of 77. As Chancellor Palpatine, Abercrombie perfectly portrayed a wise yet stressed elder statesman, ruling during a time of war, while seamlessly being able to transform into the more sinister future dictator of the GFFA, Darth Sidious. Here's what TCW Supervising Director Dave Filoni had to say via Facebook:
"Today is a very sad day for Star Wars fans, as we lost a dear friend in Ian Abercrombie. You know him better as the voice of Supreme Chancellor Palpatine on The Clone Wars. I cannot express how thankful I am to have had the opportunity to work with Ian. He was extremely passionate about his role on the series and he was brilliant at it. I always called him “Chancellor” no matter where we were, in the studio or out at a restaurant. I think he enjoyed that a great deal. I learned so much from him about directing actors, and working with dialog. His advice and mentoring will be sorely missed by all of us. Though he played a villain on our show, you would be hard pressed to meet a kinder person. He loved to laugh and his sense of humor always lightened our record sessions. I will miss his stories, I will miss his performances, and I will miss his contribution to our show.
My friend, the Force will be with you, always, and you will never be forgotten."
Of course, to many of us, Ian Abercrombie will also be remembered as Elaine Benes' one-time boss from Seinfeld known as Mr. Pitt. While he was not Elaine's only boss during the show's run in the '90s, he was certainly the most memorable. From a sock obsession, to a 3-D art obsession, to wanting to be a part of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, to Moland Springs water, Mr. Pitt consistently stole the scenes that featured him.
Those are only two of Ian's roles in a career that spanned over 50 years. Make sure to check out the HollywoodReporter.com article and visit Ian Abercrombie's IMDB page to get a better appreciation for an actor who's longevity in the business is a testament to his talent.
To Ian Abercrombie's family and friends, our thoughts and prayers are with you during a tough time. To Mr. Abercrombie himself, simply thank you for sharing your talents with us.