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Dave Prowse, actor who played Darth Vader, dies at 85

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LONDON (AP) — Dave Prowse, the British weightlifter-turned-actor who was the physique, although not the voice, of arch-villain Darth Vader within the unique “Star Wars” trilogy, has died. He was 85.

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Prowse died Saturday after a brief sickness, his agent Thomas Bowington mentioned Sunday.

Born in Bristol, southwest England, in 1935, Prowse was a three-time British weightlifting champion and represented England in weightlifting on the 1962 Commonwealth Video games earlier than breaking into motion pictures with roles that emphasised his commanding measurement, together with Frankenstein’s monster in a pair of Hammer Studios horror movies.

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Director George Lucas noticed Prowse in a small half in “A Clockwork Orange” and requested the 6-foot-6-inch (nearly 2-meter) actor to audition for the villainous Vader or the Wookie Chewbacca in “Star Wars.”

Prowse later informed the BBC he selected Darth Vader as a result of “you all the time bear in mind the unhealthy guys.”

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Bodily, Prowse was excellent for the half. But his lilting English West Nation accent was thought of lower than ultimate and his traces have been dubbed by James Earl Jones.

Prowse donned Darth Vader’s black armor and helmet for “Star Wars” (1977), “The Empire Strikes Again” (1980) and “Return of the Jedi” (1983).

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He expressed some remorse that, because of Vader’s masks, “I can stroll round with full anonymity.”

“All actors crave recognition and I might prefer to have some like Luke Skywalker and Han Solo,” he informed The Related Press in 1980. “Fortune tends to observe fame.”

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Lucas mentioned Prowse “introduced a physicality to Darth Vader that was important for the character.”

“He made Vader leap off the web page and on to the massive display, with an imposing stature and motion efficiency to match the depth and undercurrent of Vader’s presence,” the director mentioned in an announcement on the official “Star Wars” web site.

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“David was up for something and contributed to the success of what would turn out to be a memorable, tragic determine. Could he relaxation in peace.”

Prowse additionally labored as a coach for different actors, serving to Christopher Reeve put together to be the Man of Metal in hit 1978 movie “Superman.”

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Prowse was additionally identified to a technology of British youngsters because the Inexperienced Cross Code Man, a superhero in street security commercials throughout the Nineteen Seventies and ’80s.

Prowse suffered from arthritis for a few years and campaigned to boost cash for analysis into illness. In 1999 he was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II for his companies to charity and street security.

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He was a daily at “Star Wars” fan occasions however was banned from official conventions by Lucas in 2010 after the pair fell out.

Mark Hamill, who performed Luke Skywalker within the “Star Wars” movies, tweeted that Prowse was “a sort man & far more than Darth Vader.” Hamill mentioned the actor “cherished his followers as a lot as they cherished him. #RIP.”

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“Ant-Man” director Edgar Wright additionally paid tribute to Prowse on Twitter.

“As a child, Dave Prowse could not be extra well-known to me; stalking alongside corridors as evil incarnate within the a part of Darth Vader & stopping an entire technology of kiddies from being mown down in road because the Inexperienced Cross Code man,” he wrote. “Relaxation in Peace, Bristol’s most interesting.”

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Prowse is survived by his spouse Norma and their three youngsters.

Copyright © 2020 The Related Press. All rights reserved. This materials might not be printed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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