Dave Prowse: Star Wars’ OG Darth Vader passes away at 85; His rep confirms ‘May the force be with him, always’
Dave Prowse who essayed the role of the original Darth Vader in the Star Wars trilogy recently passed away at the age of 85.
Dave Prowse, the Bristolian former bodybuilder best known for playing Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy, has died aged 85. Prowse was cast as Vader for his imposing physique, even though the role was voiced by James Earl Jones. But the weightlifter-turned-actor was most proud of playing the Green Cross Code Man. The role, promoting road safety in the UK, earned him an MBE. "May the force be with him, always!" said his agent Thomas Bowington while confirming the tragic news via BBC. "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, after a short illness, "a truly and deeply heart-wrenching loss for us and millions of fans all over the world". Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars movies, said he was "so sad" to hear the news. "He was a kind man and much more than Darth Vader," Hamill said on Twitter. "He loved his fans as much as they loved him."
If you’re not familiar, Prowse's career as an actor spanned 50 years, but it was his role as the Sith Lord in Star Wars that brought him international fame. Unfortunately, his West Country accent was not deemed suitable for the part of a menacing Hollywood villain and his lines were dubbed. However, Prowse was a definitive presence in all three of the early films, thanks to his hulking 6ft 6in (1.98 m) frame, honed by the weightlifting skills which saw him represent England at the Commonwealth Games in the early 1960s.