The British actor who played Darth Vader in the original Star Wars triology has died aged 85 after a short illness.
Dave Prowse, a former bodybuilder, was best known for playing the iconic super-villain in the original three George Lucas movies.
The 6ft 6in actor, from Bristol, was cast as Vader for his physique, even though the role was voiced by James Earl Jones.
But the bodybuilder-turned-actor was most proud of playing the Green Cross Code Man.
Appearing in television adverts to warn children children about the dangers of crossing the road. The role earned him an MBE.
The iconic moment Darth Vader reveals his true identity to his son Luke Skywalker in Empire Srikes Back, the second movie in the Star Wars trilogy – 1980
Dave Prowse, a former bodybuilder, was best known for playing the iconic super-villain in the original three George Lucas movies
The man behind the mask: David Prowse has died at the age of 85 after a short battle with illness
Prowse’s agent Thomas Bowington told the BBC ”may the force be with him, always’.
‘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 ‘a truly and deeply heart-wrenching loss for us and millions of fans all over the world’.
Prowse acting career lasted 50 years, but it was his role as the Sith Lord in Star Wars that brought him international fame.
Despite being the man behind the mask, Prowse’s West Country accent was deemed not suitable for the voice of the super-villain. His lines were dubbed over by American actor James Earl Jones.
But it was through his bodybuilding that he becomes friends with Hollywood giants Arnold Schwarzenegger and original Incredible Hulk star Lou Ferrigno.
Prowse represented England at the Commonwealth Games in the early 1960s.
Tributes have since flooded in for Prowse, including from those from fans, top names within the film industry and those outside it.
Publicist Consetta Parker said: ‘I am very sad to hear the news about the passing of David Prowse. He was nothing but kind to me the brief time I worked with him.
‘Star Wars has brought me so much joy and been my friend since I was a little girl.
‘Getting to work with Darth Vader will be a memory I hold dear.’
TV anchor and news reporter Jay Shatara said: ‘It was so fun watching the videos of him acting out the lines before James Earl Jones dubbed over. RIP David Prowse.
Another, professional wrestler CM Punk, said: ‘Sad to learn about the passing of David Prowse. Star Wars was a gigantic part of my childhood, all the actors were heroes to me.
‘From Porkins to Vader. All heroes. Rest in power, Lord Vader.’
Another American wrestler, Frankie Kazarian, said: ‘ RIP David Prowse. A gentleman and a scholar and the man responsible for bringing the physicality to the most iconic villain in the history of cinema. Darth Vader. Godspeed sir.’
‘Haemorrhoids do not concern me, Admiral’: David Prowse admits he purposely messed up his lines as Darth Vader while filming Star Wars
By Ross McDonagh for DailyMail.com
They are big, intrusive and – for Imperial Star Destroyers – they are certainly a pain in the butt.
David Prowse has revealed he purposely messed up his lines as Darth Vader while filming Star Wars.
The actor even admitted that in one particularly tense scene in The Empire Strikes Back, he replaced ‘asteroids’ with ‘haemorrhoids’.
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As part of his These Are The Actors You’re Looking For series – which he chases down the stars of the original films – Jamie Stangroom challenged the 6’5″ actor on the rumour he had invented his own dialogue from behind Vader’s mask.
Prowse infamously found out after A New Hope was released in 1977 that George Lucas had dubbed over his delivered lines with the voice of James Earl Jones.
So in the 1980 sequel, he admitted, he had a little fun with the script, including one scene when an apprehensive Admiral Piett came to inform the Sith Lord – who had just strangled his superior to death – that they had lost the Millennium Falcon they were pursuing in an asteroid field.
‘Asteroids do not concern me Admiral, I want that ship’, was how Star Wars fans remember the infamous line; but Prowse admitted he delivered it a little differently.
‘I think I said “Hemorrhoids do not concern me; I need a sh*t”, he recalled.
How actor Kenneth Colley – who played the newly promoted Imperial admiral – kept a straight face remains a mystery — especially since the Dark Lord of the Sith was sitting in his ‘personal meditation chamber’ at the time.
‘That’s the very first time that’s ever been said outside,’ he laughed. ‘You’ve got an exclusive there.’
While Prowse admitted James Earl Jones did an admirable job, he believes he could have had a good stab at it — and has recently been to a studio to record all of Vader’s dialogue for a project.
‘Lots of silly stories have gone round saying they didn’t like my Bristol accent… but I did’t go around saying ‘Oh-ar my dear, I’m gong to ‘it you with me lightsaber now’,’ he smiled in his thickest brogue.
The former Green Cross Code legend claimed he had been ‘ostracised’ by director George Lucas, and hadn’t spoken to him since Return Of The Jedi wrapped in 1983.
Prowse had been accused of leaking plot details to the press – something he denies doing – to a point where he was given an alternate line to read during The Empire Strikes Back climax, in which he told Luke Obi-Wan Kenobi had killed his father rather than the shock reveal of Luke being Vader’s son.
‘Silly things, like they’ve stopped me from doing the Disney Star Wars weekends… I used to love doing the Disney Star Wars,’ Prowse lamented.
Asked what he would say to George Lucas toady if he had the chance, he would say: ‘I’d like to know the reasons for the problems I’ve been having’