David Prowse, the actor who lent his towering physicality to the role of Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy, has passed away at the age of 85.
David Prowse, the British actor who played Darth Vader in the original three Star Wars movies, has sadly passed away following a short illness.
Prowse’s death was confirmed to the BBC by his agent, Thomas Bowington, who described: “Though famous for playing many monsters – for myself, and all who knew Dave and worked with him, he was a hero in our lives.”
“It’s with great regret and heart-wrenching sadness for us and million of fans around the world, to announce that our client Dave Browse M.B.E. has passed away at the age of 85,” Bowington Management later tweeted.
It's with great regret and heart-wrenching sadness for us and million of fans around the world, to announce that our client DAVE PROWSE M.B.E. has passed away at the age of 85. #DaveProwse @starwars #DarthVader #GreenCrossCodeMan #iconic #actor #bodybuilder #MBE pic.twitter.com/dL2RmdIqg8
— Bowington Management (@BowingtonM) November 29, 2020
Prowse was cast as Darth Vader due to his towering physicality, although the character was voiced by actor James Earl Jones.
Prior to Star Wars, Prowse also starred as Mr Alexander’s manservant, Julian, in Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 classic, A Clockwork Orange. It was after seeing him as Julian that George Lucas requested Prowse audition for the role of Darth Vader.
Yet of all his roles, Prowse was reportedly proudest of playing the Green Cross Code Man – a character who appeared in UK road safety campaigns aimed at children. Prowse even received an MBE for the role.
Fellow Star Wars actor Mark Hamill paid tribute to Prowse on Twitter.
“So sad to hear David Prowse has passed,” Hamill wrote. “He was a kind man & much more than Darth Vader.”
So sad to hear David Prowse has passed. He was a kind man & much more than Darth Vader. Actor-Husband-Father-Member of the Order of the British Empire-3 time British Weightlifting Champion & Safety Icon the Green Cross Code Man. He loved his fans as much as they loved him. #RIP pic.twitter.com/VbDrGu6iBz
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) November 29, 2020
Many others have taken to Twitter to pay their respects to the late actor.
“I’d worked in A Clockwork Orange with Stanley Kubrick and, since Stanley was such a prestigious director, this opened up all sorts of doors for me.” David Prowse, 1 July, 1935 – 28 November, 2020. pic.twitter.com/QdI2gxUJjY
— Stanley Kubrick (@StanleyKubrick) November 29, 2020
Saddened to wake up to the news that my Twitter friend David Prowse passed away. David, a literal giant among men, played many roles in his career. His most famous role was being the misunderstood father who tried to give the universe to his very disobedient twins. #DarthVader
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) November 29, 2020
— Rosario Dawson (@rosariodawson) November 29, 2020
David Prowse and Sir Alec Guiness rehearse their famous lightsaber duel for 'Star Wars' in 1976. pic.twitter.com/EVsknpAeTR
— Lost In Film (@LostInFilm) November 29, 2020
Geroge Lucas on the passing of Darth Vader actor David Prowse. pic.twitter.com/AJGebTsCHG
— Clayton Sandell (@Clayton_Sandell) November 29, 2020
— Doug Jones (@actordougjones) November 29, 2020
RIP David Prowse, the Bristolian bodybuilder beneath Darth Vader’s suit and by all accounts a thoroughly un-Sith-ian chap. Here’s rare footage of him saying Vader’s lines on set. pic.twitter.com/M4RHbn7nZT
— Nick de Semlyen (@NickdeSemlyen) November 29, 2020