Jason Wingreen

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Jason Wingreen
Publicity Photo of Jason Wingreen
Born(1920-10-09)October 9, 1920
DiedDecember 25, 2015(2015-12-25) (aged 95)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Years active1955–1994
Known forAll in the Family, Archie Bunker's Place, The Empire Strikes Back
Gloria Scott Backe
(m. 1955; died 1996)
ChildrenNed Wingreen

Jason Wingreen (October 9, 1920 – December 25, 2015) was an American actor. He portrayed bartender Harry Snowden on the CBS sitcom All in the Family (1977–1979), a role he reprised on the continuation series Archie Bunker's Place (1979–1983). He was also the original voice of Star Wars character Boba Fett in The Empire Strikes Back (1980).

Early years[edit]

Born in 1920 in Brooklyn, New York to a Jewish family, he grew up in Howard Beach, Queens, attended John Adams High School, and graduated from Brooklyn College in 1941.[1] While at Brooklyn College, he participated in the Varsity Dramatic Society.[1][2] Wingreen originally planned to become a newspaper reporter after writing about high school sports for the Brooklyn Eagle during his high school years.[3]

During World War II, he served with the United States Army Air Force and was stationed in England and Germany. Following his return home, with the aid of the G.I. Bill, he studied acting at New York's New School.

He was a co-founder of the Circle in the Square Theatre company in New York's Greenwich Village, and he appeared for the first time on Broadway in two 1954 plays: The Girl on the Via Flaminia and Fragile Fox.[4]



I've signed a lot of photos of Boba Fett. I was living a quiet, peaceful, unencumbered life until that news broke, and when the news came out in a Star Wars magazine, for which I'd done an interview, the letters just never stopped.[5]

— Wingreen, on his role as Boba Fett and signing autographs (April 9, 2014)

In 1958, Wingreen had the role of Nichols in the 20th Century Fox production The Bravados.[6]

Wingreen lent his voice to the bounty hunter Boba Fett in the 1980 sequel to Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back. English actor Jeremy Bulloch physically portrayed the character. For the DVD release of the film in 2004, Wingreen's lines were re-recorded by New Zealand actor Temuera Morrison. The 2002 film Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones established that Boba Fett was a clone of Jango Fett, who was also played by Morrison.[5]

From the early 1960s Wingreen was a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.[7]


Wingreen helped to found the Circle in the Square Theatre in Greenwich Village.[3] On Broadway, he played in The Girl on the Via Flaminia and Fragile Fox, both in 1954.[8]


I'm enjoying retirement, but not when I'm not feeling well and, unfortunately, not feeling well seems to come with old age. I retired after I did my episode of Seinfeld. I was 72 and my wife wasn't well. She wanted to travel some more, so I just decided that was enough and I didn't do any more acting. My wife died in 1996 and I've been living alone. My son and his family live in Princeton, New Jersey, and he's a professor at Princeton. He's a terrific guy and he calls me twice a week, to make sure I'm still alive. And I have a grandson and a granddaughter.[9]

— Wingreen, on his retirement (April 9, 2014)

Wingreen was known for his role as bar owner/bartender Harry Snowden on the television sitcom All in the Family and its continuation series, Archie Bunker's Place.[7]

Prior to this, Wingreen was a regular during the 1960–61 season of The Untouchables, playing Police Captain Dorsett. He performed in "A Stop at Willoughby," "The Midnight Sun," and "The Bard," three episodes of the original Twilight Zone series. He also appeared on the original Star Trek series, making him one of the few people involved with both Star Wars and Star Trek. Wingreen also had a recurring role as Judge Arthur Beaumont in the series Matlock, and has guest-starred in numerous other series, including Mission: Impossible, Outer Limits, Bonanza, The Rockford Files, The Armstrong Circle Theatre, Alcoa Theatre, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Dr. Kildare, and The Fugitive.

In 1965, Wingreen portrayed Adolf Hitler on Blue Light.[10][11]

In 1979, Wingreen was a part of the ensemble cast of the TV mini-series Roots: The Next Generations. In 1991, he guest starred on General Hospital as Judge Mattson.

After an appearance on TV's Seinfeld in the 1990s, Wingreen retired from acting.[12] His last credited TV work was on In The Heat Of The Night in 1994.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Wingreen married Gloria Scott Backe.[14][15] Backe, known as "Scotty" died in 1996.[14][15] They had one son together.[4][14]


Wingreen died at the age of 95 at his home in Los Angeles, California, on December 25, 2015. Jeremy Bulloch, who physically portrayed Boba Fett, paid tribute saying that "he will be sadly missed by his family, friends and all the Star Wars fans."[16]

He was survived by his son, theoretical physicist, Ned Wingreen, two grandchildren, and his sister, Harriet, a former pianist for the New York Philharmonic.[4][17][18]



Year Title Role Notes ref
1956 Three Brave Men Perry
1957 The True Story of Jesse James Peter Uncredited
1958 The Bravados Hotel Clerk Uncredited
1961 Everything's Ducky Lipscott's Helper Uncredited
1965 A Rage to Live Jim Uncredited
The Slender Thread Medical Technician
1967 Warning Shot Reporter Outside Courtroom Uncredited
A Guide for the Married Man Harry 'Big Fella' Johnson
1969 Marlowe Camera Store Clerk
1970 The Dunwich Horror Sheriff Harrison
The Cheyenne Social Club Dr. Farley Carter
1971 Skin Game 2nd Speaker
The Todd Killings Policeman
1972 The Magnificent Seven Ride! Warden Uncredited
They Only Kill Their Masters Mallory
1974 The Terminal Man Instructor
1975 Mr. Ricco Judge
Hustle Jim Lang
1976 Moving Violation Psychiatrist
1980 Airplane! Dr. Brody [19]
The Empire Strikes Back Boba Fett
  • Uncredited; Voice in original release and 1997 Special Edition, replaced by Temuera Morrison since all 2004 re-releases
  • Also known as Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
1984 Oh God! Hotel Manager [24]
The Red Fury Mr. Taylor
1988 Arthur 2: On the Rocks Boardmember #2


Year Title Role Notes ref
1955 The Armstrong Circle Theatre Guest Episode: "Crisis (AKA Jet Pilot)" (S 6:Ep 33)
1956 Playhouse 90 The Captain Episode: "Forbidden Area (Pilot)" (S 1:Ep 1)
1957 Kraft Television Theatre Sweeny Episode: "The Killer Instinct" (S 10:Ep 52)
1958 Steve Canyon Guest Episode: "Operation Heartbeat" (S 1:Ep 4)
The Rough Riders Degnan Episode: "The Duelists" (S 1:Ep 4)
Playhouse 90 Reporter with Capone Episode: "Seven Against the Wall" (S 3:Ep 11)
Alcoa Theatre Gene Vermeth Episode: "Coogan's Reward" (S 2:Ep 15)
1959 Alcoa Theatre Hirsh Episode: "The Best Way To Go" (S 2:Ep 38)
The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis Theater Manager Episode: "Caper at the Bijou (Pilot)" (S 1:Ep 1)
Five Fingers Dentist Episode: "The Man With The Triangle Heads" (S 1:Ep 5)
The Troubleshooters Pophir Episode: "Pipeline" (S 1:Ep 8)
Playhouse 90 Blair Episode: "The Tunnel" (S 4:Ep 6)
Adventures in Paradise Romer Episode: "The Bamboo Curtain" (S 1:Ep 10)
1960 The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis Mr. McGruder Episode: "Love Is a Fallacy" (S 1:Ep 22)
Johnny Staccato Desk Sergeant Episode: "A Nice Little Town" (S 1:Ep 25)
Bourbon Street Beat Ben Anderson Episode: "Swamp Fire" (S 1:Ep 27)
Twilight Zone Train Conductor Episode: "A Stop at Willoughby" (S 1:Ep 30)
Wanted: Dead or Alive Nick Peters Episode: "Journey for Josh" (S 3:Ep 3)
The Untouchables Turner Episode: "The Mark Of Cain" (S 2:Ep 5)
1961 Surfside 6 Simm Episode: "License to Steal" (S 1:Ep 19)
The Twilight Zone Mr. Shuster Episode: "The Midnight Sun" (S 3:Ep 10)
1962 Margie Wallace Episode: "The Wolf of Wall Street: (S 1:Ep 25)
The Untouchables Second Hood Episode: "The Pea" (S 4:Ep 5)
Disney's World of Color narrator [25]
The Untouchables Phil Banyas Episode: "The Eddie O'Gara Story" (S 4:Ep 7)
1963 Outer Limits Fred Severn Episode: "O.B.I.T." (S 1:Ep 7)
The Fugitive Tim Cates
  • Episode: "See Hollywood and Die" (S 1:Ep 8)
  • Uncredited
Bonanza Hank Episode: "The Way of Aaron" (S4:Ep 24)
1964 The Fugitive Friar Episode: "Angels Travel on Lonely Roads, part 1" (S 1:Ep 24)
The Outer Limits Bill Turner Episode: "The Special One" (S 1:Ep 28)
Bonanza Luke Episode: "Enter Thomas Bowers" (S 5:Ep 30)
The Outer Limits Coroner Leland Episode: "Expanding Human" (S 2:Ep 4)
Twelve O'Clock High Major Rosen Episode: "Pressure Point" (S 1:Ep 6)
Slattery's People Mr. Samuels Episode: "Question: Where Vanished the Tragic Piper?" (S 1:Ep 7)
Profiles in Courage Reporter Episode: "The Mary S. McDowell Story" (S 1:Ep 2)
Bob Hope Presents The Chrysler Theatre Birdie Max Episode: "Parties to the Crime" (S 2:Ep 7)
Profiles in Courage Hanson Episode: "Thomas Hart Benton" (S 1:Ep 3)
The Fugitive Photographer Episode: "The Iron Maiden" (S 2:Ep 13)
1965 The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Hackie Episode: "The Deadly Decoy Affair" (S 1:Ep 15)
Twelve O'Clock High Major Rosen Episode: "The Clash: (S 1:Ep 21)
Dr. Kildare Painter Episode: "Do You Trust Your Doctor?" (S 4:Ep 23)
The Rogues Guest Episode: "The Pigeons of Paris" (S 1:Ep 25)
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea Mikhil Brynov Episode: "The Exile" (S 1:Ep 27)
Kraft Suspense Theatre Savadow Episode: "Kill No More" (S 2:Ep 23)
The Fugitive Jack Episode: "Three Cheers for Little Boy Blue" (S 3:Ep 6)
Amos Burke: Secret Agent Gunter Ernst Episode: "The Weapon" (S 1:Ep 9)
The Loner Lucas Episode: "Hunt the Man Down" (S 1:Ep 13)
1966 The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Loser in Casino Episode: "The Birds and the Bees Affair" (S 2:Ep 18)
The Wild Wild West Policeman Episode: "The Night of the Whirring Death: (S 1:Ep 20)
Get Smart KAOS Agent #2 Episode: "Stakeout on Blue Mist Mountain" (S 1:Ep 24)
Blue Light Adolf Hitler Episode: "Invasion by the Stars" (S 1:Ep 9) [10][11]
The Fugitive Reporter Episode: "The 2130" (S 3:Ep 27)
A Man Called Shenandoah Hotel Clerk Episode: "Requiem for the Second" (S 1:Ep 32)
Felony Squad Joe Caslin Episode: "A Walk To Oblivion" (S 1:Ep 2)
The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. Fahd Episode: "The Prisoner of Zalamar Affair: (S 1:Ep 2)
Shane Ira Jackson Episode: "Day of the Hawk" (S 1:Ep 7)
Run for Your Life Harbormaster Episode: "The Man Who Had No Enemies" (S 2:Ep 10)
1966–67 The Rounders Shorty Dawes Main cast
1967 Captain Nice Thug 1 Episode: "That Thing" (S 1:Ep 3)
The Fugitive Nebbs Episode: "Concrete Evidence" (S 4:Ep 18)
The Green Hornet Doctor Episode: "Bad Bet on a 459—Silent" (S 1:Ep 21)
Felony Squad Morrie Episode: "Target!" (S 1:Ep 24)
The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. Dictator Episode: "The Phi Beta Killer Affair" (S 1:Ep 25) [26]
Please Don't Eat the Daisies Doctor Episode: "When I Was a Young Man" (S 2:Ep 25)
The Road West Norman Todd Episode: "The Agreement" (S 1:Ep 28)
The Invaders Clerk Episode: "The Trial" (S 2:Ep 6)
Felony Squad Collier Episode: "Hit and Run, Run, Run" (S2:Ep 8)
Ironside Bell Captain Episode: "Light at the End of the Journey: (S 1:Ep 10)
Judd, for the Defense Judge Episode: "To Kill A Madman" (S 1:Ep 12)
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Security Guard
  • Episode: "The Maze Affair" (S 4:Ep 13)
  • Uncredited
1968 Cimarron Strip Mr. Glass Episode: "Heller" (S 1:Ep 17)
The Guns of Will Sonnett Milby Episode: "Stopover in a Troubled Town" (S 1:Ep 22)
Judd, for the Defense Judge Episode: "The Devil's Surrogate" (S 1:Ep 23)
Felony Squad Art Rice Episode: "Kiss Me, Kill You" (S 3:Ep 5)
Ironside Man Episode: "I, the People" (S 2:Ep 7)
The Name of the Game District Attorney Episode: "The Ordeal" (S 1:Ep 10)
Star Trek Dr. Linke Episode: "The Empath" (S 3:Ep 12)
Mission: Impossible Official Episode: "The Play" (S 3:Ep 9)
Adam-12 Mr. Kerr Episode: "Log 122: Christmas – The Yellow Dump Truck" (S 1:Ep 13)
1969 Ironside Sam Freeman Episode: "Rundown on a Bum Rap" (S 2:Ep 17)
Mannix Barney Episode: "The Solid Gold Web" (S 2:Ep 23)
1970 CBS Playhouse Guest Episode: "The Day Before Sunday" (S 3:Ep 3)
Mayberry R.F.D. Mr. Desmond Episode: "Emmett Takes a Fall" (S 2:Ep 15)
1973 Miracle on 34th Street Halloran
Outrage Mr. Bunce
1974 Honky Tonk
The Terminal Man Instructor
1975 Hustle Jim Lang
1976 Louis Armstrong: Chicago Style Second Detective
1977–79 All in the Family Harry Snowden Recurring
1978 Vega$ Hank Adamek Uncredited
1979–83 Archie Bunker's Place Harry Snowden Recurring
1979 Captain America Doctor #2
1987 Hunter Benjamin Winfield Episode: "Double Exposure"
1987 Highway To Heaven Ben Conrad Episode: "Playing for Keeps"
1987–91 Matlock Judge Arthur Beaumont 11 episodes
1989 Mama's Family Fred Gebhardt Episode: "Hate Thy Neighbor"
1991 General Hospital Judge Mattson Episode: "1.7242"
1992 Seinfeld Man #2 Episode: "The Opera" (S 4:Ep 9)
1994 In the Heat of the Night Georgie Episode: "Who Was Geli Bendl ?" (S 8:Ep 2), (final appearance) [13]


  1. ^ a b Bowie, Stephen (May 13, 2010). "An Interview With Jason Wingreen: Part One". The Classic TV History Blog. Retrieved October 20, 2011.
  2. ^ "Brooklyn College Play Honors Dr. Gideonse". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. November 3, 1939. p. 13. Retrieved October 17, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. Open access icon
  3. ^ a b "Wingreen: Bunker's Bartender". The Ottawa Journal. The Ottawa Journal. August 23, 1980. p. 90. Retrieved October 17, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. Open access icon
  4. ^ a b c Barnes, Mike (January 1, 2016). "Jason Wingreen Dead: 'All in the Family Bartender' Was 95". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media.
  5. ^ a b Romano, Nick (January 2, 2016). "Jason Wingreen, All in the Family actor and voice of Boba Fett in Star Wars, dies at 95". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
  6. ^ "'The Bravados' at Capitol". The Berkshire Eagle. The Berkshire Eagle. September 4, 1958. p. 8. Retrieved October 17, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. Open access icon
  7. ^ a b Phillips, Michael (February 29, 2008). "If I ruled the Oscars (insert your idea here)". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Publishing}. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
  8. ^ "Jason Wingreen". Playbill Vault. Retrieved October 18, 2015.
  9. ^ StarTrek.com Staff (April 9, 2014). "Guest Star Jason Wingreen Relives Trek And Other Roles". StarTrek.com. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
  10. ^ a b McNeil, Alex, Total Television: The Comprehensive Guide to Programming From 1948 to the Present, New York: Penguin Books, 1996, p. 104.
  11. ^ a b Brooks, Tim, and Earle Marsh, The Complete Directory to Prime-Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946–Present, Sixth Edition, New York: Ballantine Books, 1995, ISBN 0-345-39736-3, p. 116.
  12. ^ Alexander, Bryan (January 3, 2016). "Character actor Jason Wingreen, voice of Boba Fett, dies". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
  13. ^ a b Lowe, Kinsey (January 2, 2016). "Jason Wingreen Dead: Prolific TV Actor Who Appeared In 'All In The Family' Was 95". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
  14. ^ a b c Slotnik, Daniel E. (January 4, 2016). "Jason Wingreen, the Original Boba Fett, Dies at 95". The New York Times. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  15. ^ a b Bowie, Stephen (May 13, 2010). "An Interview With Jason Wingreen: Part One". Classic TV History. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  16. ^ "Star Wars exclusive: Boba Fett the body pays tribute to Boba Fett the voice". leicestermercury.co.uk. Leicester Mercury. January 5, 2016. Retrieved March 22, 2016.[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ Mendelson, Will (January 2, 2016). "Star Wars Actor Jason Wingreen Dead at 95". Us Weekly. Wenner Media LLC. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
  18. ^ Osborn, Alex (January 2, 2016). "ORIGINAL VOICE OF BOBA FETT, JASON WINGREEN, DIES AT 95". IGN. j2 Global. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
  19. ^ Abrahams, Jim; Zucker, David; Zucker, Jerry; Davidson, Jon (2000). Airplane! DVD audio commentary (DVD). Paramount Pictures.
  20. ^ Nathan, Ian. "The 500 greatest movies of all time, No. 3: Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)". Empire. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  21. ^ "Film features: 100 Greatest Movies Of All Time". Total Film. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  22. ^ "100 Greatest Films of All Time". AMC Filmsite.org. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  23. ^ "The 100 Best Movies of All Time by Mr. Showbiz". AMC Filmsite.org. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  24. ^ "Oh, God!". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  25. ^ "(TV listing)". Standard-Speaker. Standard-Speaker. December 15, 1962. p. 19. Retrieved October 17, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. Open access icon
  26. ^ "(TV listing)". Naugatuck Daily News. Naugatuck Daily News. March 14, 1967. p. 6. Retrieved October 17, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. Open access icon

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