Monkey Island, Terminator actor Earl Boen has died

Earl Boen in The Terminator
(Image credit: Orion Pictures)
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Earl Boen, who provided the voice of LeChuck in The Curse of Monkey Island and appeared in dozens of other games, television shows, and films, has died.

Boen's first videogame credit, according to his MobyGames (opens in new tab) page, was on the 1995 adventure Shannara. He followed that up over the next decade with roles in games including Zork: Grand Inquisitor, Return to Krondor, Star Trek: Voyager – Elite Force, Soldier of Fortune, Metal Gear Solid 2, Fallout Tactics, Icewind Dale 2, Call of Duty, Psychonauts, and World of Warcraft.

His best-known game role, though, was as the villainous undead pirate captain LeChuck, which he first portrayed in The Curse of Monkey Island in 1997 (which was also the first game in the series to have full voiceovers). His final appearance in the series was in Telltale's Tales of Monkey Island, released in 2009; he was asked to reprise the role in last year's Return to Monkey Island, but declined "because he's retired and he's getting older," Monkey Island creator Ron Gilbert told Adventure Gamers (opens in new tab).

Boen also appeared in numerous television shows and films (opens in new tab) beginning in the mid-1970s. He never became a major star, but action film fans in particular will immediately recognize him as Dr. Silberman, the not-especially useful psychologist from the Terminator films. It was a small part but he nailed it: Borderline incompetent, easily unlikeable, and somehow able to repeatedly fall backward into dodging bullets through all three films in the original Terminator trilogy.

Several years later, he portrayed a very different sort of hapless psychologist in the slapstick comedy The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (opens in new tab).

A cause of death was not provided, but a Variety (opens in new tab) report says Boen was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in the fall of 2022. He was 81 years old.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.