Legendary Croydon actor Dave Prowse who was Darth Vader in Star Wars dies – My London
Star Wars actor Dave Prowse has sadly passed away aged 85 following a short illness.
He portrayed the infamous villain Darth Vader in the original trilogy, with the character’s voice provided by US actor James Earl Jones.
The films star’s agent Thomas Bowington confirmed the sad news in a statement on Sunday morning (November 29).
He wrote: “May the force be with him, always!”
“Though famous for playing many monsters – for myself, and all who knew Dave and worked with him, he was a hero in our lives.”
He described the much loved actor’s passing as “a truly and deeply heart-wrenching loss for us and millions of fans all over the world”.
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David Prowse as Darth Vader in a scene from the film ‘Star Wars’, 1977. (Image: Getty Images)
Although Prowse was born in Bristol he moved to South London in 1963 and settled in Addiscombe, Croydon, and married wife Norma the same year. They remained together until his death.
The couple had three children together.
His new life in the capital begun when he was invited to become a European sales manager for a company specialising in body-building equipment and health supplements.
During an interview with Surreylife, Prowse praised living in Croydon as he thought it was a convenient place to live and described the town centre as being wonderful.
Before his own success in the film industry, Prowse was welcomed into Hollywood circles after training the late Christopher Reeve for his role as Superman.
He acted as the personal trainer for the star, who passed away back in 2004.
But the weightlifter-turned-actor was most proud of playing the Green Cross Code Man. The role, promoting road safety in the UK, earned him an MBE.
For decades, Prowse was a familiar face on British television with roles in Doctor Who, The Two Ronnies, The Kenneth Williams Show and The Morecambe & Wise Show.
In recent years he also starred in series Mission Backup Earth and Southern Troopers.
Dave Prowse after receiving a MBE for services to charity and road safety (Image: John Stillwell/PA Wire)
Tributes to the actor have flooded social media.
Star Wars actor Daniel Logan Tweeted: “Sad to hear of the passing of a #StarWars family member. RIP Dave Prowse. 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!”
Film director Edgar Wright said: “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. Rest in Peace, Bristol’s finest.”
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TV star Matthew Wright added: “I met #DaveProwse when he was the green cross code man. He was an absolute diamond. The Force was strong within him for sure – I hope he gets to the other side safely x RIP.”
Stargate actor Suanne Braun Tweeted: “So sorry to hear about the passing of Dave Prouse. Sending love to his family and sure that the force will always be with him. #DaveProwse.”