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Dave Prowse, the actor behind Darth Vader, dead at 85

Mon 30th Nov 2020

The former bodybuilder turned actor was best known for playing Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy. Picture: Everett Collection
The former bodybuilder turned actor was best known for playing Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy. Picture: Everett Collection

Darth Vader actor Dave Prowse has died aged 85 after a short illness, his agent confirmed on Sunday morning.

The Star Wars actor, from Bristol, England, played Luke Skywalker's father and wore the iconic black suit in the original trilogy from 1977 to 1983, The Sun reports.

He was reportedly nicknamed "Darth Farmer" by his co-star Carrie Fisher due to his strong West Country accent.

His agency Bowington Management described his death as "heart-wrenching" and said the news brings "sadness for us and millions of fans around the world".

"May the force be with him, always!" Mr Bowington said.

 

Dave Prowse has died aged 85. Picture: Christopher Furlong/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Dave Prowse has died aged 85. Picture: Christopher Furlong/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images


"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 182cm actor, who was also a weightlifter, wore the famous suit after landing the prestigious role due to his imposing physique.

He starred in Star Wars: A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

Although he wore the black armour, Darth Vader's voice was provided by US actor James Earl Jones.

Prowse became a huge figure in Britain due to his role as the Green Cross Code Man.

The famous character was used in British advertising to promote a road safety campaign aimed at children.

He described the role as the "best job I ever had" and his dedication earned him an MBE in 2000.

Originally published as Darth Vader actor dead at 85