Actor you'll never forget who accidentally got hired for Blade Runner dies

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Dec 17, 2012

An actor who had a short but unforgettable role in Blade Runner passed away this week, 30 years after getting a part that he was never supposed to play in the first place.

Morgan Paull, who as Holden uttered the immortal line, "You know what a turtle is?" before being killed by a replicant in the opening scene of Ridley Scott's sci-fi classic, died on Tuesday (July 17) at his home in Ashland, Ore., according to MSNBC.

Paull, a character actor whose credits included roles in Patton, Norma Rae and a slew of others, was originally hired by Scott just to read lines in screen tests for the movie's actresses. He told the Hollywood Reporter, "My agent called and said, 'Would you stand in and do the tests for these girls?'" I said, 'Are you kidding?' And he said, 'Just do it.' So I did it."

The actor recalled, "Halfway through the tests, Ridley fell in love with me. He wanted me around all the time. He cast me as Holden, and whenever he had an idea, he'd say, 'Hey, Morgan, what do you think of this?'"

During those screen tests, by the way, Paull recommended that Scott hire Daryl Hannah for Pris but pass on Sean Young in the crucial role of Rachael. Scott took his advice on Hannah, but disregarded him on Young.

Paull was not even supposed to be an actor at all. He decided he wanted to be one after appearing in a play in his junior year of high school, but his father refused to let him attend Boston University to pursue the craft. Paull went off and followed his dream anyway, making his Broadway debut in 1965. He made his screen debut in Patton a few years later.

He later retired from acting and became an agent, telling the Hollywood Reporter just a few days before he died, "I'm happy, and I've got no regrets."

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