Star Wars' Mark Hamill Leads Tributes To Darth Vader Actor Dave Prowse

"He loved his fans as much as they loved him," the Luke Skywalker actor tweeted.

Star Wars legend Mark Hamill has led the tributes to his former co-star Dave Prowse, who has died at the age of 85.

Dave played Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy, while James Earl Jones provided the character’s voice.

On Sunday, Dave’s agent confirmed that he had died following a short illness, with tributes being paid by many of those who worked with him over the years.

Dave Prowse and Mark Hamill pictured in 2007
Dave Prowse and Mark Hamill pictured in 2007

This included Luke Skywalker himself, with Mark Hamill tweeting: “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.”

He was also remembered by the Peter Mayhew Foundation, an organisation set up in memory of the actor who played Chewbacca.

Sharing a photo of Peter and Dave on set with R2-D2 actor Kenny Baker, who died in 2016,, they tweeted: “RIP Dave Prowse. I hope you’re up there sharing a pint and a story with the boys.”

Others from the Star Wars universe – including Carl Weathers and Daniel Logan – have also paid their respects, while many remembered Dave’s role as the “Green Cross Code man”, for which he was awarded an MBE in 2000:

In the early 1960s, Dave represented England in the weightlifting field at the Commonwealth Games, and years later decided to break into the world of acting.

He eventually won the role of Darth Vader after Star Wars producers were impressed by his 6′6″ physique, but the franchise’s creator George Lucas wasn’t sure Dave’s voice (or West Country accent) were right for the role, which is why James Earl Jones was later cast.

It’s said that Dave was invited to audition for the roles of Darth Vader and Chewbacca after George Lucas spotted the actor playing a bodyguard in the film A Clockwork Orange.

Asked why he opted to play Darth Vader over Chewie, the star claimed: “You always remember the bad guys.”

Dave is survived by his wife, Norma, and their three children.


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