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Darth Vader dead at 85: British actor David Prowse dies


The British actor who played Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy has died at the age of 85 after a brief illness.

David Prowse, a former bodybuilder, was best known for playing the legendary super villain in the original three George Lucas films.

The 6ft 6in actor from Bristol was cast as Vader for his physique, although the role was voiced by James Earl Jones.

But the bodybuilder turned actor took great pride in playing the Green Cross Code Man.

Appears on television advertisements to warn children of the dangers of crossing the street. The role earned him an MBE.

David Prowse, a former bodybuilder, was best known for playing the legendary super villain in the original three George Lucas films.

David Prowse, a former bodybuilder, was best known for playing legendary super villain Darth Vader (pictured right: Prowse in Vader costume) in the original three Star Wars films. He also played the Green Cross Code Man, a role that earned him an MBE (picture left)

The iconic moment when Darth Vader reveals his true identity to his son Luke Skywalker in Empire Srikes Back, the second film in the Star Wars trilogy - 1980

The iconic moment when Darth Vader reveals his true identity to his son Luke Skywalker in Empire Srikes Back, the second film in the Star Wars trilogy – 1980

The 6ft 6in actor from Bristol (pictured here in 1981) was cast as Vader for his physique, although the role was voiced by James Earl Jones

The 6ft 6in actor from Bristol (pictured here in 1981) was cast as Vader for his physique, although the role was voiced by James Earl Jones

Prowse's agent Thomas Bowington told the BBC today that "may the power be with him always". Pictured here is Prowse signing autographs at a Star Wars celebration in Los Angeles 2007

Prowse's agent Thomas Bowington told the BBC today that "may the power be with him always". Pictured here is Prowse signing autographs at a Star Wars celebration in Los Angeles 2007

David Prowse's most notable roles in television and film

Casino Royale (1967) – Comedy Film – Frankenstein's Monster (uncredited)

The Benny Hill Show (1969) – Muscleman in "Ye Olde Wishing Man Sketch"

A clockwork Orange (1971) – Julian

Carry On Henry (1971) – Bearded Torturer

Doctor Who (1972) – Minotaur

White Freight (1973) – Harry

Jabberwocky (1977) – Red Herring and Black Knights

Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope (1977) – Darth Vader

Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) – Darth Vader

Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983) – Darth Vader

The Kindness of Strangers (2010) – Frank Bryan

Prowse's agent Thomas Bowington told the BBC that "may the power always be with him".

"Although he is famous for playing a lot of monsters – to me and everyone who knew and worked with Dave, he was a hero in our lives."

Mr Bowington called the actor's death "a truly and deeply heartbreaking loss for us and millions of fans around the world".

Prowse's acting career lasted 50 years, but it was his role as Sith Lord in Star Wars that brought him international fame.

He was reportedly discovered by Star Wars director George Lucas while playing a bodyguard in the 1971 film A Clockwork Orange and was invited to audition for the roles of Darth Vader and Chewbacca.

Although Prowse was the man behind the mask, he was considered unsuitable for the supervillain's voice.

His lines were dubbed by the American actor James Earl Jones.

However, through his bodybuilding, he befriended Hollywood giants Arnold Schwarzenegger and the original Incredible Hulk star Lou Ferrigno.

Prowse represented England at the Commonwealth Games in the early 1960s.

Since then, Prowse has received accolades, including from fans, top names within and outside the film industry.

Film director Edgar Wright described him as the man who "stopped a generation of children from being mowed on the streets".

& # 39; As a kid, Dave Prowse couldn't be more famous to me; Stalking through corridors as the evil incarnation in the role of Darth Vader & preventing an entire generation of children from being mowed on the streets as Green Cross Code men Rest in peace, Bristol's finest. & # 39;

The man behind the mask: David Prowse died at the age of 85 after a brief battle with the disease. Pictured: Prowse plays the famous Vader & # 39; Force Choke & # 39; from the movie

The man behind the mask: David Prowse died at the age of 85 after a brief battle with the disease. Pictured: Prowse plays the famous Vader & # 39; Force Choke & # 39; from the movie

Prowse's acting career lasted 50 years, but it was his role as Sith Lord in Star Wars that brought him international fame

Prowse's acting career lasted 50 years, but it was his role as Sith Lord in Star Wars that brought him international fame

Although Prowse was the man behind the mask, he was considered unsuitable for the supervillain's voice. His lines were dubbed by the American actor James Earl Jones

Although Prowse was the man behind the mask, he was considered unsuitable for the supervillain's voice. His lines were dubbed by the American actor James Earl Jones

How David Prowse became one of the movie's most iconic supervillains

Prowse's acting career lasted 50 years, but it was his role as Sith Lord in Star Wars that brought him international fame.

He was reportedly discovered by Star Wars director George Lucas while playing a bodyguard in the 1971 film A Clockwork Orange and was invited to audition for the roles of Darth Vader and Chewbacca.

Although Prowse was the man behind the mask, he was considered unsuitable for the supervillain's voice.

His lines were dubbed by the American actor James Earl Jones.

But while the voice of Vader, mixed with his all-black armor suit and powers of power, played a huge role in the icon of the Sith Lord, it was Prowse's imposing 6-foot-6-inch frame and calm step that defined the character really brought life to it.

Actor Daniel Logan, who played Boba Fett in Star Wars: Episode II Attack Of The Clones, shared a picture on Twitter with Dave Prowse and wrote, “Sad to hear of the death of a Star Wars family member. RIP Dave Prowse.

“Darth Vader wouldn't be the same without you in costume. We have had many fun times over the years and laughed at the cons.

“I'm glad to call you a friend. Rest now and be one with the force! & # 39;

British actor Robin Askwith recalled the first meeting with Mr Prowse in 1972.

"Such sad news that dear Dave Prowse has died," he wrote on Twitter.

“I first met him at his gym at the West End Gym in 1972, and then he seemed to show up in everything I did when he showed up once in the full Darth Vader kit to get me naked Seeing Pamela Stephenson rolling around … RIP Dave. .. & # 39;

The Peter Mayhew Foundation Twitter account, set up to commemorate the actor who played Chewbacca, shared a picture of Prowse with Mayhew and her co-star Kenny Baker.

& # 39; RIP Dave Prowse. Hope you're up there sharing a beer and a story with the guys. & # 39;

Publicist Consetta Parker said: “I am very sad to hear the news of David Prowse's death. In the short time I've worked with him, he's just been kind to me.

“I enjoyed Star Wars so much and have been my friend since I was a little girl.

"Working with Darth Vader will be a memory that is very dear to my heart."

TV host and news reporter Jay Shatara said, “It was so much fun watching the videos where he played the lines before James dubbed Earl Jones. RIP David Prowse.

Actor Joe Manganiello said: & # 39; David Prowse as Darth Vader was BRILLIANT. He was incredibly magical in that suit.

“I've seen Empire so many times with the sound off just to see it move.

& # 39; His physical choices were as iconic to me as James & # 39; Voice and apart from that he was such a nice man. REST IN PEACE. & # 39;

Another professional wrestler, CM Punk, said: & # 39; Sorry to hear about David Prowse's death. Star Wars was a huge part of my childhood, all actors were heroes to me.

'From Porkins to Vader. All heroes. Rest in power, Lord Vader. & # 39;

Another American wrestler, Frankie Kazarian, said: & # 39; RIP David Prowse. A gentleman and a scholar and the man responsible for bringing the physicality to the most iconic villain in the history of cinema. Darth Vader. Godspeed sir. & # 39;

Star Wars fans also took to Twitter to pay tribute to the actor who played an iconic role in the original trilogy of science fiction films.

One said, “I just heard that the wonderful David Prowse has died. While I loved James Earl Jones' voice, I think we're forgetting how much physical performance David put into the role. May he rest in peace. & # 39;

Another said, “So much about what makes Darth Vader so intimate is thanks to David Prowse. He gave the Sith Lord a physicality that would make him an icon.

“What a legacy to leave behind. Rest in peace, David Prowse. You were a powerhouse. & # 39;

Another added: “Rest in peace, David Prowse. Thank you for bringing Darth Vader to life.

& # 39; Because they have been a fan favorite with Star Wars fans for generations. May the force be with you. & # 39;

A Twitter user who took care of Prowse at a science fiction convention for the past few years said, “I took care of David Prowse at a comic / sci-fi convention a few years ago.

I bought him drinks and fruit; he asked me to come to all of his conventions with him.

"It was a bittersweet day and I will always remember it with fondness #TheForceIsWithYouAlways".

Others paid tribute to Prowse's role as the Green Cross Code Man. Chris Ward said on Twitter: & # 39; RIP David Prowse, aka Green Cross Code Man. We all remember it as children.

"The man was an icon and such a talent in the film industry."

The Green Cross Code Man: The Role David Prowse was most proud of, that helped save children's lives and earned him an MBE

David Prowse played the Green Cross Code Man - initially before his role in Star Wars.

David Prowse played the Green Cross Code Man – initially before his role in Star Wars.

The Green Cross Code Man was a series created as part of a wider awareness campaign about the Green Cross Code – a brand launched by the National Road Safety Committee to raise awareness about the safety of pedestrians in the United Sharpening Kingdom. The code procedure, introduced in 1971, was developed to enable pedestrians to cross streets safely and is aimed specifically at children.

Road safety chiefs were concerned because at the time children made up half of all victims on the street.

The code seemed to work immediately, and losses were down 11 percent. But six months later they had gone up to the previous rate.

The Green Cross Code Man ran between 1975 and 1990 as a series of television commercials to promote the campaign.

David Prowse played the Green Cross Code Man – initially before his role in Star Wars.

In the displays, the character has the option of leaving his surveillance station at & # 39; Green Cross Control & # 39; Teleport to any place where children need pedestrian safety instructions.

He achieves this with a wristwatch-like "dematerializer"

In 1975 the number of children killed on the streets had fallen to 505, the lowest level since the 1950s.

By 2003 – a few years after the TV advertising campaign ended – there were 171 children.

In 2014, the Green Cross Code Man franchise was revived, with Prowse playing the character in two advertisements produced for Road Safety Week in the UK when he was 80 years old.

The campaign was aimed at young adults, warning them of the dangers of using their cell phones near streets.

Prowse was awarded an MBE for its role in the campaign.

The group behind the campaign is now known as the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

Obituary: David Prowse: the Bristol-born actor who was the man behind the mask of one of the film's most famous supervillains

David Prowse was born in 1935 and grew up in Bristol in the south west of England. After growing up on the Southmead housing estate, he was awarded a scholarship to Bristol Grammar School

David Prowse was born in 1935 and grew up in Bristol in the south west of England. After growing up on the Southmead housing estate, he was awarded a scholarship to Bristol Grammar School

He was the bodybuilding candidate from Mr. Universe who would bring to life a legendary supervillain from a galaxy far, far away.

David Prowse was born in 1935 and grew up in Bristol in the south west of England.

He was raised by his mother and, according to the IMBD, never knew his father.

After growing up on the Southmead housing estate, he was awarded a scholarship to Bristol Grammar School. But Prowse's true path was one of more muscles than brain.

His passion as a young teenager was bodybuilding and he later entered the Mr Universe competitions alongside another future film icon, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

After his successes at the British Heavyweight Championship in 1961, he represented England at the 1962 Commonwealth Games in Perth, Australia.

In 1963 he left Bristol to work for a weightlifting company in London – where he was even more successful.

Prowse got a job as a fitness consultant for Harrods and set up gyms in London.

He would also tear up phone books with his bare hands – a trick he would perform under the stage name "Jack the Ripper".

It was a ploy made easier by its huge 6-foot-6-inch frame – which would later help him take on the role of Star Wars super villain Darth Vader.

His acting career didn't begin until 1967 when he played the role of Frankenstein's monster in the spy parody Casino Royale.

He later played a role in the legendary British dystopian crime thriller A Clockwork Orange, in which he played Frank Alexander's bodyguard Julian.

Prowse hit British television screens in the mid-1970s as the Green Cross Code Man – a role he was later most proud of.

In that role, he played a road safety hero who was supposed to help children learn the Green Cross Code – an initiative that aimed to reduce the number of children who were hit by cars at the time. His road safety heroics later earned him an MBE in 2000.

But it was his role as a villain and an icon that earned him worldwide recognition.

He was reportedly spotted in A Clockwork Orange by Star Wars director George Lucas and invited to audition for the roles of Darth Vader and Chewbacca.

Prowse was given the role of Vader – the evil, all-black-clad antagonist of the original Star Wars trilogy.

Although Prowse was the man behind the mask, he was considered unsuitable for the supervillain's voice. His lines were dubbed by the American actor James Earl Jones.

Prowse also missed it when Vader was finally exposed at the end of the trilogy. Lucas cast Sebastian Shaw to play Vader's Dying Moments – he wanted a seasoned actor as Prowse to play the emotional ending in which the Sith Lord dies in his son's arms.

Prowse suffered from arthritis for much of his life. This resulted in both hips and his ankle being fused and multiple revision surgeries performed on his hip replacement

Prowse suffered from arthritis for much of his life. This resulted in both hips and his ankle being fused and multiple revision surgeries performed on his hip replacement

Although Prowse and his director Lucas & # 39; were captain in the Vader suit, they never agreed.

Former Green Cross Code legend claimed in 2018 that he was "ostracized" by Lucas and had not spoken to him since the Jedi returned in 1983.

Prowse had been accused of giving the press details of the plot – something he denied – to the point where he was given an alternate line to read during the climax of The Empire Strikes Back saying that Luke Obi-Wan Kenobi had killed his father sooner than the shock reveals that Luke is Vader's son.

He said, "A lot of goofy stories got around saying they didn't like my Bristol accent … but I didn't go around and say," Oh, dear, I'm going to do it with my lightsaber now. "& # 39 ;.

In 2010, Lucas banned him from participating in Star Wars congresses. When asked in 2018 what he would say to Lucas if he had the chance, he said, "I would like to know the reasons for the problems I was having."

But while his relationship with Lucas was reportedly rocky, his place in Star Wars history remains firm.

He often attended signatures at science fiction conventions – much to the delight of his fans.

Outside of acting, Prowse was married to Norma Scammell from 1963 and was the father of three children. He was a prominent supporter of the Bristol Rugby Club.

Prowse suffered from arthritis for much of his life. This resulted in both hips and his ankle being fused and multiple revision surgeries performed on his hip replacement.

He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009 – but is said to be in remission later that year.

In October 2016, Prowse announced his resignation from all public appearances and events and later attributed the decision to his family's illness and wishes.

A final screen appearance was later announced and filmed with Welsh musician and longtime friend Jayce Lewis in a music video called Shields.

"Hemorrhoids don't concern me, Admiral": David Prowse admits that he deliberately messed up his lines as Darth Vader while filming Star Wars

By Ross McDonagh for DailyMail.com

They're big, intrusive, and – for Imperial Star Destroyers – certainly a bum pain.

David Prowse revealed in 2018 how he deliberately messed up his lines as Darth Vader while filming Star Wars.

The actor even admitted that he replaced "asteroids" with "hemorrhoids" in a particularly tense scene in The Empire Strikes Back.

As part of his "These Are The Actors You're Looking For" series, which he chases after the stars of the original films, Jamie Stangroom challenged the actor with a rumor that he invented his own dialogue behind Vader's mask.

Prowse found out after the publication of A New Hope in 1977 that George Lucas had dubbed his supplied lines with the voice of James Earl Jones.

In the 1980 sequel, he admitted he was having a bit of fun with the script, including a scene where a concerned Admiral Piett came to inform the Sith Lord – who had just strangled his superior to death – that that they lost the Millennium Falcon in an asteroid field.

"Asteroids don't affect me, Admiral, I want this ship," Star Wars fans recalled the infamous line. but Prowse admitted that he delivered it a little differently.

"I think I said," Hemorrhoids don't affect me; I need some shit, he reminded himself.

How the actor Kenneth Colley, who played the newly promoted Imperial Admiral, kept a straight face remains a mystery – especially since the Dark Lord of the Sith was sitting in his "personal meditation chamber" at the time.

"This is the very first time anything has been said outside," he laughed. "They have an exclusive there."

While Prowse admitted that James Earl Jones did an admirable job, he believes he could have done a good trick – and was recently in a studio taping all of Vader's dialogue for a project.

"A lot of goofy stories got around saying they didn't like my Bristol accent … but I didn't go around saying," Oh, dear, I'm going to do it with my lightsaber now. "he smiled in his thickest brogue.

Former Green Cross Code legend claimed he was "ostracized" by director George Lucas and has not spoken to him since the Jedi returned in 1983.

Prowse had been accused of giving the press details of the plot – something he denies – to the point where he was given an alternate line to read during the climax of The Empire Strikes Back saying that Luke Obi-Wan Kenobi had killed his father sooner than the shock reveals that Luke is Vader's son.

"Stupid things, like they stopped me from doing the Disney Star Wars weekends … I loved doing Disney Star Wars," complained Prowse.

When asked what he would say to George Lucas if he had the chance, he would say, "I would like to know the reasons for the problems I was having."

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