The actor behind the Darth Vader mask in the original Star Wars trilogy has died. Former bodybuilder David Prowse’s death was announced by his management, “It’s with great regret and heart-wrenching sadness for us and million of fans around the world, to announce that our client David Prowse M.B.E. has passed away at the age of 85.”
Prowse provided the body for the famous movie villain while actor James Earl Jones provided the voice. (A third actor, Sebastian Shaw, played an unmasked Vader in Return of the Jedi.)
The 6’6 ” actor was also famous in his native UK for portraying the Green Cross Man, a character that appeared in public service announcements to warn children about the dangers of crossing the street.
Prowse appeared in over 70 movie and TV projects over the years and was a fan favorite at Star Wars events.
His official website tweeted, “It has been an absolute pleasure working with this wonderful man over the years. He truly was a gentle giant, and one of the kindest celebrities you could ever meet. David Prowse is Darth Vader.”
Star Wars co-star Mark Hamill said, “So sad to hear David Prowse has passed. He was a kind man and much more than Darth Vader. Actor-Husband-Father-Member of the Order of the British Empire. Three-time British Weightlifting Champion and safety icon the Green Cross Code Man. He loved his fans as much as they loved him.”
Prowse is survived by his wife of 57 years and three children.