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"Alan got snowed in [as filming was about to commence] and got the flu. And then finally he wrote me a letter saying he was very sorry, but he felt the part was too big for him and he would hate to let us all down."
Richard Marquand on why Alan Webb dropped out from Episode VI[src]

Alan Webb (July 2, 1906June 22, 1982) was an English stage and film actor. He was best known for his roles in Chimes at Midnight, King Lear and The First Great Train Robbery.[3] Webb was originally cast as Emperor Palpatine in Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi. However, he bowed out the role after getting the flu, leading director Richard Marquand to cast Ian McDiarmid instead, who had no problems with the costumes and heave makeup unlike Webb.[2]

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