The man under the Darth Vader mask, British body-builder Dave Prowse, has passed away at the age of 85 after battling an illness for a short period of time.
Star Wars celebrity co-stars who played Luke Skywalker, C-3PO, and Lando Calrissian, along with other star-studded fans mourned his death.
Darth Vader’s son, Luke Skywalker, pointed to Prowse’s accomplishment of becoming a Member of the Order of the British Empire for his services for his time spent playing a superhero named ‘Green Cross’ Code that promoted road safety for children from 1971-1990.
So sad to hear David Prowse has passed. He was a kind man & much more than Darth Vader. Actor-Husband-Father-Member of the Order of the British Empire-3 time British Weightlifting Champion & Safety Icon the Green Cross Code Man. He loved his fans as much as they loved him. #RIP pic.twitter.com/VbDrGu6iBz
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) November 29, 2020
The C-3PO actor wrote that he didn’t “think 3PO ever faced Vader’s mighty presence on set, other than as a bag of bits on Chewie’s shoulders in the carbon freezer. But Dave’s iconic figure dominated the finished film in ’77 and has done so ever since.”
More sad news. Dave has gone. I don’t think 3PO ever faced Vader’s mighty presence on set, other than as a bag of bits on Chewie’s shoulders in the carbon freezer. But Dave’s iconic figure dominated the finished film in '77 and has done so ever since. And will continue to do so.
— Anthony Daniels (@ADaniels3PO) November 29, 2020
Billy Dee Williams
The actor who played Lando Calrissian posted that it was a “great gift” to work with Prowse, “and an honor to call him my friend.”
— Billy Dee Williams (@realbdw) November 29, 2020
The Mandalorian namesake actor had no words when he heard about the three-time British heavyweight lifting champion’s death.
— Pedro Pascal he/him (@PedroPascal1) November 30, 2020
Captain Kirk of rival series Star Trek joked that Prowse’s “most famous role was being the misunderstood father who tried to give the universe to his very disobedient twins.”
Saddened to wake up to the news that my Twitter friend David Prowse passed away. David, a literal giant among men, played many roles in his career. His most famous role was being the misunderstood father who tried to give the universe to his very disobedient twins. #DarthVader
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) November 29, 2020
The famously ripped actor wrote that he was inspired by the physical acting Prowse did as Vader. “He was so unbelievably magical in that suit. I’ve watched Empire so many times with the sound off just to watch how he moved. “
David Prowse as Darth Vader was BRILLIANT. He was so unbelievably magical in that suit. I’ve watched Empire so many times with the sound off just to watch how he moved. His physical choices were as iconic as James’ voice to me & aside from all of that he was such a nice man. RIP pic.twitter.com/8OXI7DFdWZ
— JOE MANGANIELLO (@JoeManganiello) November 29, 2020
The Doctor Who star posted that Prowse whipped him into shape for his role in Matador.
#DaveProwse has passed away. #fanfamily We knew him best as #DarthVader Dave got me into shape/trained me for my Role in Matador. He was a genuine, kind, loving man, loved life, family, fitness and his fans. Dave was a huge part of our #confamily his smile will be missed. Jb pic.twitter.com/t91c5JCcTS
— John Barrowman MBE (@JohnBarrowman) November 29, 2020
The Princess Bride star was also trained by Prowse before shooting the movie. “He was a gentle soul with a heart as big as he was. So grateful to have had him in my life.”
I was fortunate enough to have #DaveProwse train me to get in shape for Princess Bride. He was a gentle soul with a heart as big as he was. So grateful to have had him in my life. My condolences to his family. Rest in Power, Dave. ??️♂️ pic.twitter.com/p991Cg4A3O
— Cary Elwes (@Cary_Elwes) November 29, 2020
The Lord of the Rings’ star wrote, “may the force be with you, David Prowse.”
May the force be with you, David Prowse.
— Elijah Wood (@elijahwood) November 29, 2020
Yvette Nicole Brown
The Community actress started a Twitter tribute thread to memorialize the late actor.
— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) November 29, 2020