Sad news arrives as Felix Silla, the heroic hang-gliding ewok from Return of the Jedi and the man behind the iconic robot Twiki in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Howard the Duck, Cousin It and so many others characters has passed away from pancreatic cancer.

His life began in Italy in 1937, and his career took him all around the world in a wide variety of popular roles.

Born in a small village just outside Rome, Italy in January 1937, Silla came to the United States in 1955. A trained circus performer, he toured with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Show, which ultimately led him to Hollywood. His skills as a tumbler, bareback rider and trapeze artist landed him stuntman roles, beginning with 1963 comedy “A Ticklish Affair.” Silla also worked as a body double, often for children, in movies like “The Towering Inferno” (1974) and “Battlestar Galactica” (1978). His resume also boasted roles in the original “Star Trek,” “Space Ball” and “Star Wars: Episode VI,” in which he played an Ewok.