The actor who played Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy has died at the age of 85.
Bristol native David Prowse died overnight after a short illness.
"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," Bowington Management tweeted.
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 became a film icon for his portrayal of one of cinema’s most iconic villains in the original Star Wars trilogy – with the character's voice performed by American actor James Earl Jones.
He originally recorded Vader’s voice as well; however, Earl Jones was brought in because of Prowse's southwestern UK accent.
Prowse represented England in weightlifting at the Commonwealth Games in the early 1960s before embarking on an acting career.
Prior to landing the famous Star Wars role, he was a familiar face on UK television as the first Green Cross Code Man, a character used in road safety advertising aimed at children.
He made his film debut in the 1967 James Bond spoof Casino Royale before going on to appear in several other films – including Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange.