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.”
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/VbDrGu6iBzNovember 29, 2020
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”
Rest In Power David Prowse. The force is with you and your loved ones. Always has been. Always will be. #TimeToShineInTheLight pic.twitter.com/rFkyAJnZnWNovember 29, 2020
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”
RIP Dave Prowse. I hope you’re up there sharing a pint and a story with the boys. #DarthVader #DaveProwse #RIPDaveProwse #StarWars pic.twitter.com/XoUtq2YihWNovember 29, 2020
More tributes were shared from Pedro Pascal, John Barrowman, Elijah Wood, and others in Hollywwod.
No words. #RIP #DavidProwse https://t.co/qQl8wVBZpoNovember 30, 2020
#DaveProwse has passed away. #fanfamily We knew him best as #DarthVader Dave got me into shape/trained me for my Role in Matador. He was a genuine, kind, loving man, loved life, family, fitness and his fans. Dave was a huge part of our #confamily his smile will be missed. Jb pic.twitter.com/t91c5JCcTSNovember 29, 2020
My condolences go out to Dave Prowse's family and friends. A true icon who brought Darth Vader to life. Our Star Wars family will always cherish the memories he gave us.November 29, 2020
May the force be with you, David Prowse.November 29, 2020
Saddened to wake up to the news that my Twitter friend David Prowse passed away. David, a literal giant among men, played many roles in his career. His most famous role was being the misunderstood father who tried to give the universe to his very disobedient twins. #DarthVaderNovember 29, 2020