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

Britain Obit Dave Prowse
Posted at 8:20 AM, Nov 29, 2020

LONDON (AP) — Dave Prowse, the British weightlifter-turned-actor who played Darth Vader in the original "Star Wars" trilogy, has died. He was 85.

Prowse's agent Thomas Bowington said Sunday that Prowse died Saturday after a short illness.

David Prowse
FILE - In this file photo dated Saturday, May 26, 2007, actor David Prowse, who was the man in the black Darth Vader suit in the first Star Wars film, signs autographs at Star Wars Celebration IV, marking the 30th anniversary of the release of the first film in the Star Wars saga, in Los Angeles, USA. The British actor, Prowse who played Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy, has died aged 85 on Saturday, according to an announcement by his agent Sunday Nov. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, FILE)

Prowse represented England in weightlifting at the Commonwealth Games in the 1950s before breaking into the movies.

In the 1970s, director George Lucas asked the 6-foot-6 inch actor to audition for the villainous Vader or the wookie Chewbacca in "Star Wars."

Prowse later told the BBC he chose Darth Vader because "you always remember the bad guys."

Physically, Prowse was perfect for the part. His lilting English West Country accent was considered less ideal, and the lines were re-recorded by James Earl Jones.