Share article:
Share article:

Darth Vader actor Dave Prowse dies aged 85

Credit: Olaf // CC BY-SA 2.0

British actor Dave Prowse, known for his role as Star Wars villain Darth Vader, has passed away at the age of 85, the BBC reports on Sunday.

Born in Bristol, England, on 1 July 1935, brought up on a council estate and gaining a scholarship to Bristol Grammar School. Prowse left Bristol in 1963, at the age of 28, to work for a weightlifting company in London.

“My only ambition was to become Mr Universe and my life was geared to that,” Prowse said according to This is Bristol. “Every job I took was aimed to help me achieve my ambition and if it stood in the way, then I would leave and find something else.” Prowse’s early jobs included working as a bouncer (at a dance hall where he met his wife) and as a lifeguard.

Prowse debuted on film in 1967 in Casino Royale, a spy parody film loosely based on Ian Fleming’s first James Bond novel, as Frankenstein’s monster, a role he played twice more – in ‘Horror of Frankenstein’ (1970) and ‘Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell’ (1974).

Prowse also had a role in ‘A Clockwork Orange’ (1971), which prompted Star Wars director George Lucas to invite Prowse to audition for Darth Vader and Chewbacca, choosing the former because “you always remember the bad guys,” as he told the BBC.

Reactions to Prowse’s passing poured in, including from Mark Hamill, who plays his on-screen son Luke Skywalker. “So sad to hear David Prowse has passed. He was a kind man & much more than Darth Vader,” Hamill tweeted.


Anthony Daniels, known for playing C-3PO in the series of space films, also reached out Twitter, saying that “Dave’s iconic figure dominated the finished film in ’77 and has done so ever since. And will continue to do so.”


Prowse is not the first of the original Star Wars cast to pass away. Peter Cushing, who played Grand Moff Tarkin, died in 1994, original Obi-Wan Kenobi actor Sir Alec Guinness died in 2000, and both Kenny Baker (known for playing R2D2) and Carrie Fisher – who starred as Luke’s twin sister, Princess Leia – passed away in 2016.

While Prowse may be most famous for his role as Darth Vader, it was another role he was most proud of.

“The 14 years I spent as the face of the government’s road safety campaign – as the Green Cross Man – is the best job I’ve ever had, including my Star Wars role, and by far my proudest achievement,” Prowse wrote in an opinion piece in The Guardian titled “Being the Green Cross Man beats being Darth Vader any day.”

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times

Latest news

EU decides to activate emergency brake against new COVID-variant but stops short of flight ban
The new COVID variant detected in South Africa has put the EU on alert and prompted the Council’s Integrated Political Crisis Response (IPCR) to ...
Belgium imposes entry ban on travellers from southern Africa
Belgium is introducing an entry ban for travellers from several countries in the south of Africa following concerns about a new variant (B.1.1.529) ...
Cheat Sheet: New Rules, Quiet December Nights
It's been a while since we've had measures complicated enough to deserve a cheat sheet, but less than a week after Belgium rolled out new measures, ...
Belgium records highest number of new cases since start of pandemic
An average of 16,762 infections per day is now recorded in Belgium, with an absolute record of more than 25,000 infections in one day last Monday, ...
Brexit: trade and travel disrupted as French fishermen blockade ports and Eurotunnel
On Friday, the national committee for the French fishing industry has coordinated a blockade of three French ports as well as lorries bearing freight ...
Belgium implements ‘package of strict measures’
Not even a week after the previous measures came into force, Belgium is taking stricter measures to stop the fourth wave in the country, announced ...
Even with strong action now, ‘we will still have a few weeks of misery,’ says Vlieghe
Even if the Consultative Committee takes powerful and clear decisions today, Belgium will still have to endure a few weeks of misery while the number ...
Brussels tunnels blocked by Uber driver protest
Several tunnels in the centre of Brussels were blocked on Friday morning by Uber drivers protesting against a ruling by the Brussels Court of Appeal ...
Police strikes at Brussels and Charleroi airports cause delays
Police unions are taking action at Brussels and Charleroi airports this Friday morning, causing delayed services at both locations. At 7:00 AM at ...
Black Friday not your bag? Try Green Friday
Today is Black Friday: a North American custom that has made its way across the Atlantic and is when retailers aim to draw consumers in with low ...
Study links social media use with depression in adults
While social media has been linked to anxiety and depression in teens, a new study now suggests that adults are also susceptible. In Belgium, a ...
Nearly half a million of lives saved by COVID-19 vaccination in Europe, new study shows
A new study published on Thursday estimates that at least 470,000 lives have been saved among those aged 60 years and over since the start of ...