Erik Bauersfeld, a longtime voice actor who spent three decades as the director of drama and literature at KPFA, Berkeley's listner-funded public radio station, died Sunday at the age of 93.
The name might be unfamiliar, but if you're a fan of Star Wars, you've heard Bauersfeld's voice. From Admiral Ackbar screaming "It's a trap!" to Bib Fortuna, Jabba the Hutt's skeezy assistant with the tentacle-like pony tail, Bauersfeld's vocal work is practically ubiquitous in Return of the Jedi. Bauersfeld also went on to contribute voices to movies such as the most recent Star Wars film, Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens, A.I. and Crimson Peak.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Bauersfeld loved the radio and found a second home in Berkeley at KPFA in 1961, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. He worked there until the mid '90s -- the Star Wars jobs were side work -- until he left to pursuit special theater projects with West German Radio and his Bay Area Radio Drama project.
Bauersfeld spent his last moments having poet and longtime friend Lawrence Ferlinghetti read to him over the phone, while Randy Thom, director of sound design at Skywalker Sound, hold his hand, according to KPFA.
The cause of his death has yet to be reported.
Watch this 2012 video with Peter Hartlaub of the San Francisco Chronicle talking to Bauersfeld about his career.