British actor David Charles Prowse has died at the age of 85. The former bodybuilder is best known for his role as Darth Vader in Star Wars.
He was also previously known in Great Britain as the “Green Cross Man” who promoted road safety, especially for children, in numerous idealistic commercials for ten years. Prowse was particularly proud of that role for the National Road Safety Committee. He also received a royal award for it, said the BBC.
About two meters tall Prowse was a bodybuilder and weightlifter until he played his first role in a James Bond film in 1967. Prowse was Frankenstein’s Creature in the movie Casino Royale. He also returned as Frankenstein in other films.
RIP David Prowse; thank you for bringing Darth Vader, one of the greatest characters in cinema history to life. 1935-2020 pic.twitter.com/nngwE4WJ1N
– Jedi Jargon: A Star Wars Podcast (@JediJargonPod) November 29, 2020
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
Sad to learn about the passing of David Prowse. @starwars was such a gigantic part of my childhood, all the actors were heroes to me. From Porkins to Vader. All heroes. Rest in power, Lord Vader. “David Prowse IS Darth Vader!” pic.twitter.com/C04nECTELl
– player / coach (@CMPunk) November 29, 2020
Prowse’s acting career lasted about half a century. He has also starred in series such as The Saint, Space 1999 and Doctor Who. Director George Lucas saw Prowse play a bodyguard in the movie Clockwork Orange (Stanley Kubrick, 1971) and asked him for the role of Darth Vader in Star Wars. However, his voice was not used and was recorded by James Earl Jones. Prowse’s accent from the west of England would have deterred the filmmakers.
A heartbreaking loss
Prowse’s agent, Thomas Bowington, calls the actor’s loss “a heartbreaking loss to millions of fans around the world.” “Although he was famous for playing monsters (bad guys ed.), He was a hero in our lives to me and to everyone who knew him. May the force be with him, always! ”
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