Hollywood is paying tribute to Star Wars legend David Prowse. The bodybuilder/actor passed away at the age of 85 after a lengthy battle with prostate cancer. While Prowse had a long career, he is best-known for being the actor underneath the iconic Darth Vader costume in the original Star Wars trilogy. James Earl Jones provided the voice, but the memorable menacing movements were all done by Prowse in A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi.
When it came time to voice Darth Vader, George Lucas and crew did not think that Dave Prowse’s West Country accent was what was needed to voice the villainous Vader. Regardless, David Prowse was Vader and some of his co-stars are now paying tribute to him on social media. “So sad to hear David Prowse has passed,” 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.”
C-3PO actor Anthony Daniels tweeted, “More sad news. Dave has gone. I don’t think 3PO ever faced Vader’s mighty presence on set, other than as a bag of bits on Chewie’s shoulders in the carbon freezer. But Dave’s iconic figure dominated the finished film in ’77 and has done so ever since. And will continue to do so.” Lando Calrissian actor Bill Dee Williams says, “Incredibly sad to hear Dave Prowse has passed. It was a great gift to work with him and an honor to call him my friend.” Prowse only showed up in the original Star Wars trilogy and made a few appearances for products, including video games and board games, over the years.
Baby Driver director Edgar Wright also took some time to pay tribute to David Prowse. “As a kid Dave Prowse couldn’t be more famous to me; stalking along corridors as evil incarnate in the part of Darth Vader & stopping a whole generation of kiddies from being mown down in street as the Green Cross Code man,” he tweeted. “Rest in Peace, Bristol’s finest.” Actor Joe Manganiello was also a big fan of Prowse’s portrayal of Darth Vader. You can read what he had to say below.
“David Prowse as Darth Vader was BRILLIANT. He was so unbelievably magical in that suit. I’ve watched Empire so many times with the sound off just to watch how he moved. His physical choices were as iconic as James’ voice to me & aside from all of that he was such a nice man.”
Daniel Logan, who played young Boba Fett in Attack of the Clones tweeted, “Darth Vader wouldn’t be the same without you in the costume. We had many fun times & laughs at cons together over the years. Glad to have been able to call you a friend. Rest now and be one with the Force!” The Mandalorian star and director Carl Weathers says, “RIP David Prowse. That stature contributed so much to Darth Vader’s legend.” BBC News was the first to announce the death of David Prowse.