The man who helped personify the Dark Side in “Star Wars” has passed on to the other side.
David Prowse, 85, died after a successful career defined by his role as the man inside the Darth Vader suit for the original “Star Wars” trilogy. While James Earl Jones supplied the cinematic voice for Darth Vader, the walk, stature and lightsaber moves of the most iconic villain in movie history were created by Prowse.
The longtime actor delivered Darth Vader’s lines on set in a black suit and helmet, but they were not used in the movies because of his English country accent.
“So sad to hear David Prowse has passed,” Luke Skywalker actor Mark Hamill tweeted. “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.”
Prowse, at 6 feet 7 inches tall, also played a bodyguard in “A Clockwork Orange,” was Frankenstein in three movies and trained Christopher Reeve for “Superman.” He also wrote an autobiography, “Straight from the Force’s Mouth.”
For “Star Wars,” he was given the option of playing Chewbacca or Darth Vader.
“If you think back on all the movies that you’ve ever seen where there are goodies and baddies … you always remember the baddie,” Prowse told NPR.
He chose the Dark Side for the movie, but the man was anything but Sith. May the Force be with him.