April 22, 2015 – Before Mark Hamill had achieved super-stardom, he did a single guest-appearance on the 1970’s sitcom One Day At A Time (1975-1984). Hamill played the role of Harvey Schneider, a gum-smacking visiting nephew of the building superintendent with a penchant for stealing things.
Season 2, Episode 9, entitled “Schneider’s Pride and Joy”, debuted on 30 November 1976. The episode is easily forgettable and unremarkable. As a historical curiousity, however, we can enjoy watching a young Mark Hamill demonstrate his acting abilities. Born September 25, 1951, he would have been 25 years old when the show was filmed, although he was cast to play a younger teenager.
We can also marvel at the fact that just six months later, Hamill’s life would be forever altered when the original Star Wars premiered (25 May 1977) and gobsmacked the world.
But wait, there’s more.
Mark Hamill also guest-starred in The Partridge Family sitcom, which aired from 1970-1974. Season 1, Episode 16, entitled “Old Scrapmouth”, first ran on 15 January 1971. We see Laurie (Susan Dey) tortured and embarrassed by her new dental braces just before a television crew arrives to film the band. One of the recurring gags is that Laurie’s braces pick up radio signals and all she can hear is The Rolling Stones.
Hamill, then 19 years old, played the role of Jerry courting Laurie. Watch this scene where our young Jedi asks Laurie to go steady with him:
Hamill’s best line is at 0:047: “You’re a beautiful person, even if you do have an ugly mouth.” Also, dig the AM/FM transistor radio with earphone.
UPDATE (April 2016):
Regrettably, all three videos appear to have been blocked or removed due to complaints from the copyright holder(s). They were fascinating to watch.