Darth Vader actor Dave Prowse dies aged 85

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British actor David Prowse, who played Darth Vader in the original “Star Wars” trilogy, has died aged 85, his management company announced Sunday.

Prowse died on Saturday after a short illness, his agent Thomas Bowington said.

“It’s with great regret and heart-wrenching sadness for us and million of fans around the world, to announce that our client DAVE PROWSE M.B.E. has passed away at the age of 85,” Bowington Management said on Twitter Sunday.

Prowse wore the black suit and helmet to play Darth Vader, but it was the actor James Earl Jones who provided the character’s voice. Prowse’s West Country English accent was thought to be unsuitable for the part. But it was his role as the “Green Cross Code Man” from a British road safety campaign that Prowse said he was most proud of. He was awarded an MBE — a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire — in 2000 for that role.
He went on to play Darth Vader in all three of the original “Star Wars” films, in 1977, 1980 and 1983.
Health and fitness remained an interest for Prowse, who also worked as a personal trainer for actors playing the role of Superman, including Christopher Reeve, and wrote a book called “Fitness is Fun.”
He published an autobiography, “Straight from the Force’s Mouth,” in 2011.