'Star Wars' trilogy's Darth Vader, Dave Prowse, passes away

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Nov 29, 2020, 02:01 PM(IST)

David P Photograph:( Twitter )

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David Prowse's career as an actor spanned 50 years, but it was his role as the Sith Lord in the original Star Wars trilogy that brought him international fame. However, his accent was not deemed suitable for the part and his lines were dubbed by James Earl Jones.

Dave Prowse, the actor best known for playing Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy, has died aged 85. Prowse was cast as Vader for his imposing physique, even though the role was immortalised by James Earl Jones, who voiced the iconic masked villain. 

"May the force be with him, always!" said his agent Thomas Bowington.

"Though famous for playing many monsters - for myself, and all who knew Dave and worked with him, he was a hero ,in our lives."

Mr Bowington called the actor's death, after a short illness, "a truly and deeply heart-wrenching loss for us and millions of fans all over the world".

Prowse's career as an actor spanned 50 years, but it was his role as the Sith Lord in the original Star Wars trilogy that brought him international fame. However, his accent was not deemed suitable for the part of a menacing villain and his lines were dubbed.

A former weightlifter, he even represented England at the Commonwealth Games in the early 1960s.

Before his career as an actor, he helped prepare the late Christopher Reeve for the physical demands of his role as Superman, as the actor's personal trainer.

Prowse made his film debut in 1967 James Bond spoof Casino Royale playing Frankenstein's Creature, a part he was asked to play again in two films from the iconic Hammer film series, 1970's 'Horror Of Frankenstein' and 1974's 'Frankenstein' and the 'Monster From Hell'.

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He was a regular cast member of series such as 'The Saint', 'Space 1999' and 'Doctor Who'. Spotted by director George Lucas in the 1971 film Clockwork Orange, in which he played a bodyguard, Prowse was invited to audition for the roles of Darth Vader and Chewbacca in 1977's Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope.

He later told the BBC's Tanya Beckett, he chose Vader over Chewbacca because ''you always remember the bad guys.''

Despite the enduring popularity of Star Wars, the actor always maintained that playing the Green Cross Code Man, which he first portrayed in 1975, was the "best job I ever had".

Dressed in a distinctive green and white superhero suit, he became the face of British road safety for more than a decade, known for his catchphrase "Stop, look and listen".

Brought up in Bristol, he spent his later years living in Croydon "a loving husband, father and grandfather".

His autobiography Straight from the Force's Mouth was published in 2011.

Also see: From Sushant Singh Rajput to Irrfan Khan: Indian stars we lost in the pandemic

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