The actor was best known for starring in the 1986 sequel to Alien as Russ Jorden – the father of Rebecca ‘Newt’ Jorden, played by Carrie Henn.
Jay’s management confirmed he died on 4 April after suffering complications stemming from Covid-19.
In a statement, his team wrote: “It is with profound sorrow that we must announce Jay’s death on the 4th of April due to complications arising from a Covid-19 infection.”
Alongside his role in Aliens, Jay was also known to UK audiences for appearing as Captain/Major John Kieffer in ITV drama Foyle’s War.
He also had a 20-episode stint in soap Emmerdale as Doug Hamilton in 1997.
The actor landed his first film role at the age of 11 in the 1963 Tony Saytor film La Bande à Bobo, and went on to secure a part in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope in 1977, but his scenes were ultimately deleted from the film before release.
Jay also appeared in 2012′s The Dark Knight Rises and 2016′s I.T., with his last film roles coming the following year when he played Doctor Shurman in Madame, and a wounded man in Hostile.
Following the news of his death, ‘Allo Allo’ star Vicki Michelle was among those who paid tribute on social media.
She tweeted: “Shocked to hear one of our most brilliant actors and kind lovely man Jay Benedict has passed. Married to my lovely friend Phoebe Scholfield. My heart goes out to her and her family at this sad time.”
Jay is survived by his wife Phoebe Scholfield and their two sons Leopold and Freddie, as well as a daughter from a previous relationship.