Dave Prowse, the man who played Darth Vader on screen in A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi has passed away. He was 85. The former bodybuilder's career lasted for over 50 years, but it was his iconic role as Vader that enchanted and enthralled fans for decades. Dave Prowse was also featured on cult series such as The Saint, Space 1999, and Doctor Who, in which he was cast as a minotaur in the 1972 episode "The Time Monster," opposite Jon Pertwee. George Lucas spotted him in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange and cast him as the Dark Lord of the Sith, although his accent was deemed too thick, so the speaking part went to James Earl Jones. His manager had this to say to the BBC about his passing:
Dave Prowse Will Live Forever In Star Wars Fans Hearts
"May the force be with him, always!" his manager Thomas Bowington said. "Though famous for playing many monsters – for myself, and all who knew Dave and worked with him, he was a hero in our lives." He called the untimely tragedy "a truly and deeply heart-wrenching loss for us and millions of fans all over the world."
Dave Prowse has been battling various illnesses for quite some time now and retired from the international convention circuit in 2016. Fellow original trilogy actors Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Peter Cushing, Sir Alec Guinness, Phil Brown, Shelagh Fraser, Jack Purvis, and Alex McCrindle have all also become one with the Force in recent years. I had the privilege of meeting Dave Prowse myself at a convention a few years back when my daughter was only 3. He could not have been nicer, signed a picture of Darth Vader for her, and didn't even charge us for it, no matter how much we insisted. She still remembers that interaction to this day.