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Mark Hamill, George Lucas and more pay tribute to Darth Vader actor David Prowse

Darth Vader
(Image credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)

David Prowse, who famously played Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy, has passed away aged 85. Tributes to the actor have poured in from co-star Mark Hamill, George Lucas, and more.

While James Earl Jones provided Vader’s iconic voice, it was Prowse who wore the costume on-set and gave us the villain’s terrifying mannerisms and looming presence. As well as Vader, Prowse's career included A Clockwork Orange, the 1981 adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and three Hammer films. He also trained Christopher Reeve for Superman.

Luke Skywalker actor Mark Hamill remembered the actor on Twitter: “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.”

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George Lucas also paid tribute to Prowse in a statement on the official Star Wars website. “David brought a physicality to Darth Vader that was essential for the character,” he said. “He made Vader leap off the page and on to the big screen, with an imposing stature and movement performance to match the intensity and undercurrent of Vader’s presence. David was up for anything and contributed to the success of what would become a memorable, tragic figure. May he rest in peace.”

Rosario Dawson, who plays the live-action incarnation of Ahsoka Tano, posted to Twitter: "Rest In Power David Prowse. The force is with you and your loved ones. Always has been. Always will be. #TimeToShineInTheLight”

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The Peter Mayhew Foundation also posted a touching tribute with a picture of Mayhew, Prowse, and Kenny Baker – the actors behind Chewbacca, Vader, and R2D2 – together: "RIP Dave Prowse. I hope you’re up there sharing a pint and a story with the boys. #DarthVader #DaveProwse #RIPDaveProwse #StarWars”

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More tributes were shared from Pedro Pascal, John Barrowman, Elijah Wood, and others in Hollywwod.

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Molly Edwards

I'm a freelance Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for our Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after getting my BA in English.