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Why Lortha Peel From The Book Of Boba Fett Looks So Familiar

Decades after making his first appearance in the "Star Wars" universe, the much-loved crime lord and bounty hunter has made his way to Disney+ with the series "The Book of Boba Fett." In a galaxy far away, Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) and Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) — an assassin working with Fett — are busy making a name for themselves in the underworld.

Fett and Shand, who were last seen in Jon Favreau's "The Mandalorian," pick up their characters right where they leave off in the show's second season. Continuing the story within the "Star Wars" franchise, "The Book of Boba Fett" is brimming with familiar characters, some that have made onscreen appearances in the past and some who have been limited to the comic pages. While the fans anticipated several characters to pop up in the new series, what they did not anticipate were the actors playing those roles. From Jennifer Beals to Danny Trejo, the series has pulled out all the stops to get popular actors that are known for their previous work.

Another character who's played by an actor familiar to many fans is Lortha Peel. Peel is a water vendor who appears in the most recent episode of the space Western, "The Streets of Mos Espa." Peel is played by well-known character actor Stephen Root, who has numerous movie and TV roles credited to his name. Here's where you might have seen him.

Stephen Root was last seen in Succession Season 3

Jesse Armstrong's "Succession" wrapped up its much-awaited Season 3 recently and Root was last seen making a guest appearance in the show. In the sixth episode of the season, the Logan Roy (Brian Cox) camp heads to Virginia for a secretive political conference to choose a Republican nominee for the presidential elections. Root is seen playing Ron Petkus, a member of the Republican establishment. He welcomes everyone to the conference and emphasizes the importance of the event for the country's democratic future. He later interacts with Roy, discussing the candidate he's interested in nominating for the elections.

Root and his succession costar Cox also lent their voices to the English translation of the anime series "Blade Runner: Black Lotus," in November 2021. Root's magnetic voice has been heard in several other animated television series in recent years as well, like "Masters of the Universe: Revelation," "Amphibia," "Summer Camp Island," "BoJack Horseman," and "The Simpsons." But that's not all. Root has also played several memorable characters in TV shows going back to the '90s.

Root has starred in many prestige television shows in recent years

In the critically acclaimed series "Barry," Root plays the role of Monroe Fuches, the hitman Barry Berkman's (Bill Hader) handler. After Fuches helps Barry leave the Marines, he pushes him into a life as an assassin. His presence as a father figure in Barry's life keeps pulling Barry back into a life of crime. As Fuches, Root gets the chance to play a manipulative character who emerges as the main antagonist in the show. For his performance in the second season of "Barry," Root was nominated in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series category at the 2019 Emmy Awards (via IMDb). 

Since 2020, Root has also been playing a recurring character in another HBO series, "Perry Mason." The period drama revolves around a private investigator in 1930s Los Angeles, as he tries to leave behind his dreadful past and move on as a defense lawyer. Root plays the role of Maynard Barnes, the district attorney of Los Angeles County. Root also had a recurring role in the Amazon drama "The Man in the High Castle." Set in a historical dystopian society in which the Axis powers win World War II, the series traces the journey of individuals of an occupied America whose lives intersect when they come across movies that depict the defeat of Germany and Japan. Root appeared as Hawthorne Abendsen, also known as the titular "Man in the High Castle," a mystery man who makes and distributes the films portraying an alternate reality.

The actor had a few run-ins with the law in Boardwalk Empire and Justified

Root appeared in HBO's Golden Globe Award-winning show "Boardwalk Empire" in its final two seasons once again as a morally gray character. Root plays the role of Gaston Means, a forger who ends up becoming a special investigator for the Department of Justice. The show, based on the nonfiction book of the same name by Nelson Johnson, follows the journey of Atlantic City criminal Enoch L. Johnson, played by Steve Buscemi in the show.

Familiar with roles on either side of legality, Root played Judge Mike Reardon in FX's Western crime drama "Justified." For the first three seasons and in the fifth season of the show, Root makes several appearances as the inappropriate judge. Known as "Mike the Hammer," Reardon works in Lexington Federal Courthouse and takes strong stances on cases, while outside of work he's known for his wild and improper actions.

He starred as Jimmy James in NBC's NewsRadio

One of the starring roles of Root's early career came as the eccentric radio station owner in NBC's sitcom "NewsRadio." The show began in 1995 and went on for five seasons, with Root starring in 97 episodes (per IMDb). The sitcom focuses on the workplace dynamics of a news radio station in New York City. As a character actor, Root admitted in an interview with The New York Times that after his stint with "NewsRadio," he consciously decided to move away from starring roles, stating that he made "a concerted effort to do hourlong dramas and not to be hooked up to a regular show, but to do recurring roles on them." 

This is how he decided to pursue roles on "The West Wing," "Boardwalk Empire," and all his other significant guest parts. In Aaron Sorkin's famous political drama "The West Wing," Root appears as the communications director for the Vinick/Sullivan presidential campaign. Root also had several recurring roles and cameos in "Malcolm in the Middle," "Ladies Man," "NYPD Blue" and "L.A. Law." This trend of smaller, impactful roles continued in his career until "Barry" came along. The myriad of recurring roles on TV gave Root the opportunity to portray a lot of different characters over a short amount of time, while simultaneously exploring movie roles as well. 

Root also has a decorated film career

In the film industry, one of Root's biggest contributions has been as a Coen Brothers' favorite. He has appeared in several of their films, including the 2007 neo-Western "No Country For Old Men," the 2000 crime comedy "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" and 2018's "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs."

More recently, Root played the role of Neil Mullin, a lawyer on Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson's (Nicole Kidman) team during the Roger Ailes (John Lithgow) sexual harassment scandal in the movie "Bombshell." In the 2018 movie "On the Basis of Sex," inspired by the life and career of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Root portrays Ernest Brown, a Harvard professor who later worked with the Department of Justice.

Even as a part of talented ensembles, Root has always managed to leave an indelible mark on every role that he plays, but there is one movie role that really put him on the map as a niche actor. This role is Milton Waddams in the 1999 movie "Office Space." A satire on the '90s work environment at software companies, "Office Space" features Root in a smaller role, but it has garnered praise for his acting over the years as the movie became a cult hit.

With an entertainment career that has spanned more than two decades, Root has refused to be limited to starring roles and has, in turn, carved himself a glorious space that has showcased his indefinite versatility.