David Prowse, who played Darth Vader, dead at 85 of Covid-19
Last Modified: Nov 30, 2020
David Prowse, the English-born actor who played Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy, has passed away at the age of 85.
According to his management company, Bowington Management, the former 6-foot-6 body-builder died early Sunday
“May the force be with him, always,” his Thomas Bowington said. “Though famous for playing many monsters – for myself, and all who knew Dave and worked with him, he was a hero in our lives.”
Although the agency did not reveal the cause of his death, CNN had reported Prowse was undergoing treatment for prostate cancer as recently as 2018. It was later revealed by his daughter that Prowse was suffering from the coronavirus.
“It’s horrible that COVID restrictions meant we did not get to see him and say goodbye. But when we went to collect his stuff from the hospital, the nurse said what a cool guy he was. He was such a larger-than-life character. He would have loved to see himself trending on Twitter.” Prowse's 50 year old daughter Rachel told The Sun.
Rachel also confirmed that her father had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and spent two weeks in a London hospital with COVID-19.
“He might have looked quite scary but as a person he was a sweet, kind and generous man. He really was a gentle giant. And to us he was our dad.” Rachel added.
Although David Prowse was best known for his physical portrayal of Darth Vader, who was voiced by James Earl Jones, he is also known for portraying Frankenstein’s monster and the bodyguard Julian in A Clockwork Orange.
In a 2016 interview, Prowse had said director George Lucas had offered him a choice of portraying Chewbacca or Darth Vader. “There’s a character called Chewbacca, which is like a huge teddy bear, or alternatively, there’s the main villain in the piece,” he said Lucas had told him.
“Well, there’s no choice, is there?” Prowse had replied.
Lucas had later banned him from Star Wars events after he was wrongly accused of leaking Vader’s fate in Return of the Jedi.
“Nobody will ever forget Darth Vader,” Prowse had said in a 2017 interview. “And it is a great honor for me to have played the ultimate screen villain of all time.”