‘May the force be with him, always’: British Darth Vader actor David Prowse who played Luke Skywalker’s father in original Star Wars trilogy dies aged 85 after a short illness
- Dave Prowse, 85, was actor behind the famous super-villain in original Star Wars
- Originally from Bristol, the 6ft 6in former bodybuilder was cast for his physique
- The actor was most proud of playing Green Cross Code Man and earned an MBE
The British actor who played Darth Vader in the original Star Wars triology has died aged 85 after a short illness.
Dave Prowse, a former bodybuilder who was best known for playing the iconic super-villain in the original three George Lucas movies
The 6ft 6in actor, from Bristol, was cast as Vader for his physique, even though the role was voiced by James Earl Jones.
But the bodybuilder-turned-actor was most proud of playing the Green Cross Code Man.
Appearing in television adverts to warn children children about the dangers of crossing the road. The role earned him an MBE.
The iconic moment Darth Vader reveals his true identity to his son Luke Skywalker in Empire Srikes Back, the second movie in the Star Wars trilogy – 1980
The man behind the mask: David Prowse has died at the age of 85 after a short battle with illness
Prowse’s agent Thomas Bowington told the BBC ”may the force be with him, always’.
‘Though famous for playing many monsters – for myself, and all who knew Dave and worked with him, he was a hero in our lives.’
Mr Bowington called the actor’s death ‘a truly and deeply heart-wrenching loss for us and millions of fans all over the world’.
Prowse acting career lasted 50 years, but it was his role as the Sith Lord in Star Wars that brought him international fame.
Despite being the man behind the mask, Prowse’s West Country accent was deemed not suitable for the voice of the super-villain. His lines were dubbed over by American actor James Earl Jones.
But it was through his bodybuilding that he becomes friends with Hollywood giants Arnold Schwarzenegger and original Incredible Hulk star Lou Ferrigno.
Prowse represented England at the Commonwealth Games in the early 1960s.
Tributes have since flooded in for Prowse, including from those from fans, top names within the film industry and those outside it.
Publicist Consetta Parker said: ‘I am very sad to hear the news about the passing of David Prowse. He was nothing but kind to me the brief time I worked with him.
‘Star Wars has brought me so much joy and been my friend since I was a little girl.
‘Getting to work with Darth Vader will be a memory I hold dear.’