Toby Philpott

Jabba the Hutt

Toby Philpott is an English puppeteer, best known for his work in motion picture animatronics during the 1980s in such films as The Dark Crystal and Return of the Jedi.

Born into a family of entertainers, Philpott dropped out of school and traveled the world during the 1960s, squatting in various locations and surviving off money he earned from his work as a street performer, which included juggling, fire eating, magic shows, clowning and acrobatics.

He began his film career after Jim Henson personally selected Philpott to work on the 1982 fantasy film The Dark Crystal, in which he worked side-by-side with Henson. 

The next year, Philpott was approached to serve as one of the puppeteers controlling Jabba the Hutt in Return of the Jedi. Philpott controlled the left arm, head, tongue and body of the giant Hutt puppet. Hard work indeed, but a lot of fun making Jabba eat frogs, and knocking poor C-3PO off the throne when he's angry!

Appears in

Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)