TRIBUTES have been paid to Star Wars actor Alfie Curtis after he died at his home in Billericay, aged 87.

Mr Curtis shot to fame when he appeared as Dr Evazan in the original Star Wars 1977 movie, Episode IV – A New Hope.

In the film he was propping up the bar in the Cantina scene in the Mos Eisley spaceport on Tatooine, and famously threatened leading character Luke Skywalker with the line: “I have the death sentence on 12 systems”.

Mr Curtis was a huge Arsenal fan and even had the chance to play against the Gunners during a spell as a semi-professional footballer.

His granddaughter, Charlotte Curtis, 27, who is from Billericay but now lives in Dubai, paid tribute to her “generous” grandfather who will be “a huge loss to the family”.

She said: “He was a kind and generous man, with so many stories, some of which he liked to tell more than once. His career in acting was in his words “all in a day’s work”. He was a very humble, family man.

“His passing is a huge loss to the family and he will be dearly missed by so many.

“We have been amazed at the amount of tributes and tweets, including the one from Mark Hamill.

“If he is looking down on us now he wouldn’t believe all of the fuss he has caused, although he would have no idea what Twitter or ‘Trending’ was.”

Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars movies, also paid tribute to Mr Curtis, saying: “As horrific as he was on-camera, off-camera he was funny, kind and a real gentleman. Thanks Alf, you’ll be missed.”

Mr Curtis died peacefully at his home in Billericay on Thursday, November 30.