The man behind one of cinema's most iconic silver screen villains, Darth Vader, has passed away.
David Prowse has passed away at the age of 85, his management company confirmed in a tweet sent out today.
"It's with great regret and heart-wrenching sadness for us and million of fans around the world, to announce that our client DAVE PROWSE M.B.E. has passed away at the age of 85," the post read.
It's with great regret and heart-wrenching sadness for us and million of fans around the world, to announce that our client DAVE PROWSE M.B.E. has passed away at the age of 85. #DaveProwse @starwars #DarthVader #GreenCrossCodeMan #iconic #actor #bodybuilder #MBE pic.twitter.com/dL2RmdIqg8— Bowington Management (@BowingtonM) November 29, 2020
Prowse donned the Darth Vader costume for 1977's Star Wars,a role he would reprise in the films sequelsStar Wars – The Empire Strikes Back, andStar Wars – Return of the Jedi. However, his vocals for the film trilogy was famously replaced by the equally iconic voice of James Earl Jones.
Prowse's passing was reportedly after a "short illness" according to his agent.
Various celebs have takken to Twitter to express their deepest condolences. Star Warsco-star Mark Hamill, who portrayed Darth Vader's son, Luke Skywalker, said, "He was a kind man & much more than Darth Vader... He loved his fans as much as they loved him.
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
Star Wars Epsiode IIactor Daniel Logan, who played Boba Fett in the prequel film offered up his condolences, "Sad to hear of the passing of a #StarWars family member... Glad to have been able to call you a friend. Rest now and be one with the Force!
Sad to hear of the passing of a #StarWars family member. RIP Dave Prowse. Darth Vader wouldn't be the same without you in the costume. We had many fun times & laughs at cons together over the years. Glad to have been able to call you a friend. Rest now and be one with the Force! pic.twitter.com/st28CQGckF— Daniel Logan (@Daniel_Logan) November 29, 2020
Rosario Dawson, who played the live-action version of fan-favorite AhsokaTano in the most recent episode of The Mandalorian, posted a tweet saying, "Rest In Power David Prowse. The force is with you and your loved ones. Always has been. Always will be. #TimeToShineInTheLight."
— Rosario Dawson (@rosariodawson) November 29, 2020
Deathstroke actor James Manganiello posted, "David Prowse as Darth Vader was BRILLIANT. He was so unbelievably magical in that suit. I’ve watched Empire so many times with the sound off just to watch how he moved."
David Prowse as Darth Vader was BRILLIANT. He was so unbelievably magical in that suit. I’ve watched Empire so many times with the sound off just to watch how he moved. His physical choices were as iconic as James’ voice to me & aside from all of that he was such a nice man. RIP pic.twitter.com/8OXI7DFdWZ— JOE MANGANIELLO (@JoeManganiello) November 29, 2020
Carl Weathers, who recently directed an episode on the second season of The Mandalorian, offered up his tribute, acknowledging the physicality that Prowse gave to the role, "That stature contributed so much to Darth Vader’s legend."
Tributes fromStar Warsfans continue to pour in. Fan group The 501st legion says, "David embodied cinema's greatest villain. It is with great sadness the 501st Legion hears he has become one with the Force."
We have just learned of the passing of David Prowse, the man behind Darth Vader's mask.— 501st Legion (@501stLegion) November 29, 2020
David embodied cinema's greatest villain. It is with great sadness the 501st Legion hears he has become one with the Force. #VadersFist #DarthVader #StarWars #HonoraryMember #BucketsOff pic.twitter.com/dhd95hyTnP
As a kid Dave Prowse couldn’t be more famous to me; stalking along corridors as evil incarnate in the part of Darth Vader & stopping a whole generation of kiddies from being mown down in street as the Green Cross Code man. Rest in Peace, Bristol’s finest. https://t.co/VYdxM37JWb— edgarwright (@edgarwright) November 29, 2020
I met Dave Prowse a few years ago, he came up to my booth at a con, he wanted to buy my Star Wars posters. I insisted that they were a gift. He was so gracious and we had a lovely chat. He was still asking to pay me for them as he left, I think I said “Darth Vader doesn’t pay.” pic.twitter.com/kzsG0STlKD— Matt Ferguson (@Cakes_Comics) November 29, 2020
RIP Dave Prowse. I walked into an elevator in San Diego 20 years back and saw him standing with a hugely tall and a very small man around 2am. I was pretty drunk and they gave me a nod & a smile, but it was only when I got to my floor I realised who they were & awe-struck.— Mark Millar (@mrmarkmillar) November 29, 2020
Prowse has had a career in film which started with the James Bond spoofCasino Royale,where he played the Frankenstein creature. It was a role he would reprise in later films'The Horror of Frankenstein(1970) and Frankensteinand the Monster From Hell(1974).
It was his role as a bodyguard in 1971'sA Clockwork Orangewhich caught the eye ofStar Warscreator George Lucas. The director invited Prowse to audition for the roles of Chewbacca and Darth Vader. He would later choose to portray the Sith Lord because, in his opinion, "You always remember the bad guys.''