David Prowse, who physically portrayed Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy, passed away yesterday at the age of 85. News of the British actor’s death was announced on Twitter by his agent, Thomas Bowington. No definitive cause has been revealed except that he’d recently been suffering from an undisclosed illness.
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
While James Earl Jones’ voice makes him the actor most people associate with Vader in Original Trilogy, David Prowse brought an intimidating physical presence that played an undeniable role in the creating the character’s iconic status.
Prowse was also well known for his role as Julian in A Clockwork Orange and Green Cross Circle Man, a superhero featured in British PSA’s instructing children how to safely cross the street.
In addition to acting, Prowse was an award winning weightlifter, body builder, and personal trainer to the stars. He even got Christopher Reeve in shape for his role as Superman.
News of Prowse’s passing sent a ripple of sadness through the entertainment world, particularly the Star Wars franchise. Mark Hamill and Anthony Daniels sent out heartfelt tributes to their fellow Original Trilogy cast member.
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
More sad news. Dave has gone. I don’t think 3PO ever faced Vader’s mighty presence on set, other than as a bag of bits on Chewie’s shoulders in the carbon freezer. But Dave’s iconic figure dominated the finished film in '77 and has done so ever since. And will continue to do so.
— Anthony Daniels (@ADaniels3PO) November 29, 2020
In a statement to the Hollywood Reporter, George Lucas payed tribute to the man who brought one of his greatest characters to life:
“David brought a physicality to Darth Vader that was essential for the character. He made Vader leap off the page and on to the big screen, with an imposing stature and movement performance to match the intensity and undercurrent of Vader’s presence. David was up for anything and contributed to the success of what would become a memorable, tragic figure.
May he rest in peace.”
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