Actor and bodybuilder David Prowse, most well known for the physical portrayal of Darth Vader in the first three films in the Star Wars sci-fi saga, died at the age of 85, his agent Thomas Bowington said.
BBC reported that Bowington said the Bristol-born English character actor died after suffering a short 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," Bowington wrote on Twitter.
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
Before taking up the role of Darth Vader, Prowse played the parts of many monsters and antagonists throughout his career. Aside from the scary persona, BBC notes that he was “most proud” of playing the Green Cross Code Man, who stars in advertisements teaching children about traffic safety.
“May the Force be with him, always!” Bowington said, according to the BBC. “Though famous for playing many monsters – for myself, and all who knew Dave and worked with him, he was a hero in our lives.”
In the Star Wars trilogy, he landed the role of Darth Vader mainly for his 1.98-meter frame. However, his local British accent was not destined for the role; so while he was in the suit, American actor James Earl Jones voiced the character.
He has an autobiography titled Straight from the Force’s Mouth that was published in 2011.