Darth Vader actor David Prowse, 85, dies

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David Prowse
David Prowse
Photo: Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images
  • British actor, David Prowse has died.
  • The 85-year-old was best known for playing Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy.
  • His agent, Thomas Bowington confirmed the news of his death after he battled a short illness. "May the force be with him, always!" he said.

Darth Vader actor, David Prowse has died.

The British actor who played Luke Skywalker's father in the original Star Wars trilogy died at the age of 85.

His agent, Thomas Bowington confirmed his death to BBC, revealing he died after a short illness. "A truly and deeply heart-wrenching loss for us and millions of fans all over the world," he said.

"May the force be with him, always!" he added. "Though famous for playing many monsters – for myself, and all who knew Dave and worked with him, he was a hero in our lives."

The former bodybuilder-turned-actor was cast as Darth Vader for his imposing physique – he was 1.98 m tall and represented England at the Commonwealth Games in the early 1960s – while James Earl Jones lent a more menacing voice to that of David's Southern accent.

"We called him Darth Farmer," Carrie Fisher, who played Princess Leia in the films once said, according to Sky News.

David Prowse
'You Can Be Like Me!' A potential client admires Dave Prowse who works in the keep-fit department of Harrods.

But before taking on the iconic role, as a weightlifter, he befriended many in Hollywood, including Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno, while also working as a personal trainer to help prepare Christopher Reeve for the role of Superman.

He went on to star in the 1967 James Bond spoof Casino Royale playing Frankenstein's Creature, a part he played in two more films, and series such as The Saint, Space 1999 and Doctor Who.

He maintained throughout his career though that his "best" role, one that earned him an MBE, was that of the Green Cross Code Man - a character who appeared in TV adverts to warn children about the dangers of crossing the road.     

David Prowse
Actor Dave Prowse, who plays Darth Vader in Star Wars, in his role as the Green Cross Code Man.

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