British actor Dave Prowse, who played Darth Vader, died at the age of 85. The Good Life
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British actor Dave Prowse, who played Darth Vader, died at the age of 85.

Weightlifter turned actor, he had won the role thanks to his build. But because of his strong accent, the character’s voice was played by James Earl Jones.

British actor Dave Prowse, who played the Darth Vader character in the first Star Wars trilogy, died Saturday, November 28, his agent Thomas Bowington announced Sunday. “It is with great sadness that we must announce that our client Dave Prowse died yesterday morning at the age of 85,” wrote the agent on Facebook.

“May the Force be with him always! “said the agent to the BBC, lamenting a “truly and deeply heartbreaking loss for us and for millions of fans around the world.

“The biggest villain on the big screen.”

Born on July 1, 1935 in Bristol to a modest family, David Prowse was raised by his mother and never knew his father. Passionate about weightlifting, he participated in the Mr. Universe contest. He had represented England in weightlifting at the Commonwealth Games in the early 1960s. During the years he competed in weightlifting, he became friends with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno, before embarking on a career in acting.

The man who played Frankenstein’s monster in Casino Royale (1967) also appeared in 1971 in Stanley Kubrick’s Orange mécanique, where he played the bodyguard. It is there that the creator of Star Wars, George Lucas, would have spotted him, before inviting him to the auditions for the roles of Darth Vader and Chewbacca. Prowse had chosen Darth Vader without hesitation, because “we always remember the bad guy.

Dave Prowse won the role because of his build – he was almost six feet tall – but because the actor’s strong accent from Bristol, West England, was deemed inappropriate, the character’s voice was played by James Earl Jones. Black armor, mechanical breathing and powers entirely devoted to evil, the Darth Vader character entered the pantheon of evil characters with the famous line: “I am your father. »

“Vador is the biggest villain of the big screen of all times”, claimed Dave Prowse to Agence France-Presse in 2013, during a Star Wars festival in Cusset (Allier). For many years, the representative of the dark side of the force traveled the planet to meet the fans of the flagship trilogy of the early 80s.