Few people can claim that they have not heard of Mark Hamill – those who do so would probably still recognize his face when prompted. The American actor with over 344 credits to his name, was behind one of the longest perpetuating franchises in history: “Star Wars”. The actor has far from faded into the background, as he is still active in the industry, even voicing Chucky in the horror movie “Child’s Play” in 2019. As recognizable as he is, many are not familiar with his humble and unassuming wife, Marilou York. The two have actually been married for four decades, a rather rare occurrence in Hollywood. So, who is Marilou York?
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Early Life and Family
Marilou was born on 11 February 1955, in Carmi, Illinois, USA, to parents Jean Apple and Doyle Fredrick.
Her parents’ careers are unknown, as is much about her early life. She was an only child to her parents, and is a smart and dedicated individual. Unfortunately, Marilou York has lost both her parents, her mother in 2009, and her father in 2001. Hamill and his family have been an indispensable pillar of support during this time. The only known legacy that her parents left her with was a ‘die-hard democrats’ attitude.
York underwent her schooling at Carmi Township Halls High School. She was a conscientious and intelligent student, as she matriculated as valedictorian and majorette, a nod to her perseverance and application to her studies.
She was able to qualify for a place in Parkland College studying dental hygiene, from where she graduated in 1975, and immediately pursued her chosen career into the workplace, where she would ultimately meet Mark Richard Hamill.
So Marilou worked as a dental hygienist. Not one to take things for granted, nor is she one to be content living off someone else’s salary – even if that someone is the famous Mark Hamill with a net worth of $18 million – York maintained her post in the dental industry for almost thirty years, developing into a skilled and accomplished professional.
Amazing Invisible Inc.
In 1993, Marilou’s husband invited her to act as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the company he had founded, Amazing Invisible Inc. She is also the CFO of the closely related Hamjamill Inc which was founded in May 2014, also the brainchild of her husband. She is the owner of My Management too, which was established around the same time as Hamjamill Inc.
York made a single venture into the entertainment industry that held her husband so much in its thrall. In 2004, she co-produced “Comic Book: The Movie”, which is described as a ‘straight-to-film’ flick. The film is a mockumentary that explores the completely twisted relationship between comic book creators and Hollywood producers.
Iconic figures such as Stan Lee, Kevin Smith made their appearances in the film, lending the film gravitas and credibility. The film was scattered with stars, from Billy West to epic producer J. J Abrams. While this film was not exactly the widest-reaching success, it received some prominence in the industry, most probably due to its dazzling cast of actors. This is also the only record of York’s forays into the entertainment industry, as she now takes a back seat to her husband’s success and fame, with no ill-will whatsoever.
The story of Hamill and York’s relationship is sweet and amusing, yet it also relates the effects of fame on relationships.
The two met when Hamill waltzed into the dentist’s office for his appointment and caught sight of the hygienist, who was undeniable sexy. He describes her appearance as ‘looking at a Vargas painting’ – for those not in the know, Joaquin Albert Vargas y Chavez is an infamous Peruvian painter who specialized in painting seductive and suggestive pin-up girls. After initially playing oblivious to Hamill’s comment on her beauty, York accepted his proposition of a date after his appointment. The couple endured a brief hiccup in their relationship after Hamill got a taste of fame when “A New Hope” hit the mainstream in 1977. The pair broke up and Hamill moved to Las Vegas where he dated co-star and showgirl Anne Wyndham.
However, Hamill soon realized that sometimes it is the relationships born outside of fame that hold truest. He returned to Marilou York and the two dated for a year before marrying in 1978. Their wedding was a quiet and unambiguous affair that took place in Mark Hamill’s back yard in Malibu on 17 December.
The two had to forgo a honeymoon, due to Hamill’s appearance in “The Empire Strikes Back” which was filming at the time. This had no apparent impact on their marriage, and the couple welcomed their first child 25 June 1979, who they named Nathan Hamill. In 1983, a second son, Griffin Hamill, was born on 4 March, and finally they were rewarded with a daughter, Chelsea Hamill, on 27 July 1988.
This article states we reshot the rescue of Leia scene because I "botched" my line. In fact, we had to redo it weeks later, because my name was changed to Skywalker AFTER we did it the 1st time (when my name was still Starkiller). #TrueFunFact https://t.co/ubcWztJs47
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) May 26, 2020
The family remains close-knit and affectionate. While her children have all pursued different careers – Nathan as an artist and illustrator, Griffin as a martial arts instructor, and Chelsea working in public relations at Amazing Invisible Inc. – they have all shared in the limelight of Hamill’s success, all making various cameos in the “Star Wars” films. Nathan appears to be the only one with a solid position in the entertainment industry, working on the art side of production, such as music and art and has even starred in a few additional films, such as “Office Ninja” in 2014. The boys share a remarkable resemblance to their father.
Unlike many Hollywood partners, Marilou tends to shy away from the limelight. She is not in the relationship for fame or recognition, although her affiliations certainly give her this. York has been credited with being the driving force, support, and secret behind her husband’s success in the industry. There have been unsubstantiated rumors that Marilou tried to coerce a woman, Meagan Chen, her son had made pregnant into having an abortion, however, the child was born and is named Autumn. There was a battery of paternity tests done, but the results are undisclosed. Chen eventually gave up on the lawsuits and the matter remains officially unresolved.
Marilou may not retain all of those looks that first drew Mark Hamill to her in 1977, but the ghost of all those features are still evident. Marilou is slightly shorter than her husband who stands at 5ft 9ins (1.75m). York wears her hair shoulder length and styled, and keeps it pale brown. She has pale blue eyes, and is always outfitted with style.
Net Worth and Salary
Marilou has accumulated an impressive net worth of her own, independent of that of her husband, quoted as $5 million in mid-2020. This is the product of years of dedication, hard work, and commitment to her craft. She currently receives a salary as the CFO of two of Hamill’s business ventures, as well as from her ownership of My Management.