Mark Hamill and Marilou York Met at the Most Unexpected Location

Mark Hamill is known to multiple generations of movie fans for playing one of the most iconic characters in cinematic history: Luke Skywalker in Star Wars. But Hamill isn’t Skywalker. He’s a man with a normal man, with a normal family. Hamill has been with his wife, Marilou York, for over 40 years. While Hamill is accustomed to bringing spellbinding stories from a galaxy far, far away to the big screen, the story of his marriage is more incredible than any of those. 

Let’s take a closer look at how Hamill met his wife at an extremely unexpected location — and how they’re still going strong today.

Marilou York and Mark Hamill smilng in front of a dark background with a repeating Star Wars logo
Marilou York and Mark Hamill | Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

Mark Hamill’s biography

According to, Hamill was born in 1951 in Oakland, California. Hamill’s big break came in 1977 when he starred in Star Wars as Luke Skywalker. He also starred in the film’s sequels, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Through the years Hamill became well regarded for his voiceover work. His most famous voiceover role was as the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series. He’s also made vocal cameos in nearly every piece of Star Wars media.

When Disney purchased the rights to future Star Wars films in 2012, Hamill was brought back into the fold to reprise his classic role. Hamill starred in the final seconds of 2015’s The Force Awakens. He had a much bigger part in 2017’s The Last Jedi. Hamill returned for his swan song to the series in last year’s The Rise of Skywalker.

The Hamill family

One would think that after starring in some of the biggest blockbusters of all time, Hamill would be on track for the stereotypical career of a big Hollywood star. But Hamill’s career and life have been anything but conventional. Unlike many Hollywood stars, Hamill has a fairly normal family life. He’s been married to his wife Marilou for decades. According to Good Morning America, they have three grown children — Chelsea, Nathan, and Griffin. Hamill’s wife said the couple doesn’t live the standard Hollywood lifestyle: “We don’t live in town, so we don’t go in and do all the party circuits.” 

It’s refreshing to see someone with such a well-adjusted family life, especially in a town that’s as dangerous to marriages as Hollywood. But Hamill and his family have a solid foundation. It may lead you to wonder: where did that foundation begin? The answer to that question may be different from what you expect. It was at a dentist’s office. 

The unexpected location where Mark Hamill met Marilou York

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Happy 41st anniversary to my lovely parents.

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Yes, that’s right: Hamill and his wife met at a dentist’s office. Hamill had an appointment and York was working there as a dental hygienist. Hamill told People Magazine that it was not love at first sight from his wife’s perspective: “She came into the waiting room in jeans, white coat, breasts like melons, looking like a Vargas painting. I said, ‘They let you dress like that at work?’ She said, ‘Yeah. Next.’ ” 

Hamill soon took her out on a date to a screening of Star Wars. York couldn’t resist commenting on a dental aspect of the film few others not in her field would have noticed: “There was this one close-up of a minor character, curling his lips back from his teeth. She leaned over to me and whispered, ‘Bad caps.’ “

York and Hamill actually broke up after that as Hamill sowed his wild oats as a young superstar. Their love was too strong, however, and soon Hamill’s desire to start a family and the couple’s love for each other conquered all. They were married soon thereafter and have been together ever since.