Movies & TV / News

Darth Vader Body Actor David Prowse Passes Away

November 29, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Darth Vader David Prowse

One of the men who gave life to the one and only Darth Vader, David Prowse, has passed away. Deadline reports that Prowse, who played the physical presence of Vader in the original the Star Wars films, passed away on Saturday at the age of 85 years old. Details on his passing have not yet been confirmed.

While James Earl Jones provided the voice for Vader, Prowse wore the costume and appeared on camera as the Sith Lord in Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. A former bodybuilder, Prowse was cast in the role due to his 6’6″ frame. But before that role, he was already known for his participation in bodybuilding contests as well as playing the Green Cross Code Man, a superhero who was created for a road safety campaign for kids in 1975.

Even before that, Prowse had earned some recognition for his role on screen in such films as Hammer’s The Horror of Frankenstein, A Clockwork Orange, and White Cargo, as well as a guest-starring role as The Minotaur on a 1972 episode of Doctor Who. It was of course the role of Vader that he would become most well-known for even though he never appeared without his mask. Prowse once said that he was originally told he would be able to appear on screen in Return of the Jedi for Vader’s end scenes, but was passed over for that in favor of Sebastian Shaw.

Prowse had a variety of health issues including arthritis for much of his life and returned from public appearances in 2016. His last on-screen appearance was a music video for his friend, Welsh musician Jayce Lewis.

On behalf of 411, our condolences to the family, friends, and many many fans of Mr. Prowse.