Tributes for Dave Prowse, who is best known for playing Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy, pours in on social media following news of his passing.
Prowse’s agent Thomas Bowington, wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday morning: “It’s with great sadness that we have to announce that our client Dave Prowse M.B.E passed away yesterday morning at the age of 85.”
Dave Prowse had been battling a short illness.
A former bodybuilder, Prowse was cast as Darth Vader for his imposing physique, even though the role was voiced by James Earl Jones.
“May the force be with him, always” said his agent.
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
“Though famous for playing many monsters – for myself, and all who knew Dave and worked with him, he was a hero in our lives.”
Bowington described the actor’s death as 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, reacted to Prowse’s death on Twitter, saying he was “sad” to hear the news.
“He was a kind man and much more than Darth Vader,” Hamill said. “He loved his fans as much as they loved him.”
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
Star Wars co-star, Anthony Daniels, who played C-3PO in 11 of the 12 Star Wars films paid tribute by honouring Prowse’s contribution to the series.
“Dave’s iconic figure dominated the finished film in ’77 and has done so ever since,” he wrote, on Twitter.
Prowse’s career spanned 5 decades but it was his role in Star Wars that brought him international fame.
Sadly gone at 85, Dave Prowse won't be there when you cross the road, so always use the Green Cross Code. pic.twitter.com/SsI2LikMzj
— Marshall Julius (@MarshallJulius) November 29, 2020
He was from Bristol, born and raised, but his West country accent was deemed not suitable for a villain, so his lines were dubbed.
However, Prowse was a dominant presence none the less, thanks to his 6ft 6in stature and bodybuilder physique, which saw him represent England at the Commonwealth Games in the early 60s.
Prowse made his film debut in 1967 as Frankenstein’s Creature in Casino Royale, a James Bond parody. He also regularly featured in series such as The Saint, Space 1999 and Doctor Who.
Although Prowse was born in Bristol, he moved to South London it 1963, settling in the Croydon area of Addiscombe where he spent his later years surrounded by his wife Norma and their children and grandchildren.
Words by: Leah Nelson | Subbing: Dina Nazari