The six-foot-6 former bodybuilder performed the Star Wars villain in the original trilogy.
David Prowse, the actor who portrayed Darth Vader in the official Star Wars movies, died, Media Reported. He was 85 years old. George Lucas asked Prowse to audition for Star Wars after seeing a 6-foot-6 actor within the 1971 Kubrick movie. Prowse had his choice of playing Chewbacca or Vader, and he opted for the latter because as he said to the BBC, “you always remember the bad guy.” Plus, he added, he didn’t want to wear Chewbacca’s fur suit.
Prowse played Luke Skywalker’s former dad in Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, but notably, his voice didn’t get him into the movies. He said all the lines of Vader, but the voice of James Earl Jones was later dubbed in.
Mark Hamill, Prowse’s on-screen son Star Wars, tweeted his sympathy on Sunday. “He was a kind man and a lot more than Darth Vader, “Actor-Husband-Father-Member of the British Empire Order-3 times British Weightlifting Champion & Safety Symbol Green Cross Code Man. He cherished his fans as much as he loved them. #RIP.”
Actor Daniel Logan, who starred Boba Fett in Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones, posted a photo on Twitter with Dave Prowse, writing: “Sad to hear about the demise of a part of the StarWars family. RIP Dave Prowse.
Before becoming an actor, Prowse was a bodybuilder champion in the United Kingdom in the 1960s. His greatest role before Darth Vader was as the Green Cross Code Guy, a hero who supported street-crossing child protection in the public service campaign of the government. Prowse called the Code Man gig “the best job I’ve ever had, including my Star Wars role, and by far my proudest accomplishment.”
According to the New York Times, Prowse retired in 2016 due to health issues. His wife, Norma Scammell, and three children lived with him.