Darth Vader Actor Dave Prowse Dies Aged 85
Having suffered a short illness, British actor Dave Prowse — most famously known for his portrayal of the Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy — has died aged 85.
Standing 1.98m tall, Prowse had always had a powerful figure, and spent much of his career prior to acting as a bodybuilder, opening some of his country’s earliest gyms, and becoming a three-time British weightlifting champion. It was in this career that he grew close to fellow bodybuilders Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno before either became Hollywood stars. He also acted as the personal trainer to Christopher Reeve for the role of Superman.
Eventually, Prowse would enter the world of acting, participating in various films such as the 1967 James Bond film Casino Royale and 1971’s Clockwork Orange before being scouted by George Lucas himself for the role of Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy. Unfortunately, while his hulking presence was a perfect fit for the Sith Lord, his accent wasn’t preferred, and the producers ultimately dubbed over his voice. Despite this, Prowse had great passion for the role, the franchise, and especially the fans, traveling around the world to various conventions across four decades to meet them.
“May the force be with him, always!” said Prowse’s agent Thomas Bowington. “Though famous for playing many monsters – for myself, and all who knew Dave and worked with him, he was a hero in our lives.”
“He was a kind man and much more than Darth Vader,” wrote his Star Wars co-star Mark Hamill. “He loved his fans as much as they loved him.”
“Dave’s iconic figure dominated the finished film in ‘77 and has done so ever since,” added Anthony Daniels, who also starred alongside Prowse as C-3PO.
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