Movies | November 29, 2020 12:01 pm

David Prowse, “Star Wars” and “A Clockwork Orange” Actor, Dead at 85

He's best known for his work bringing Darth Vader to the screen

On the set of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
Peter Cushing, David Prowse and Carrie Fisher with director, screenwriter and producer George Lucas on the set of his movie Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope.
Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

Davis Prowse, the actor best-known for playing Darth Vader in the Star Wars films, has died at the age of 85. His agent confirmed the news to the Associated Press, stating that Prowse had died after a short illness.

Prowse’s career abounded with paradoxes. Though he provided a physical presence in the role of Darth Vader, his voice was ultimately overdubbed by that of James Earl Jones. And while Prowse was best known for playing one of cinema’s most iconic villains of all time, that wasn’t the role he was proudest of.

Instead, that honor went to the Green Cross Code Man, a role Prowse played in a series of public service announcements designed to teach children about traffic safety.

Before he was an actor, Prowse was a bodybuilding champion. That led to a supporting role in A Clockwork Orange, which in turn caught the attention of George Lucas. Lucas asked Prowse to audition for Star Wars, and a piece of film history was made.

Following the news of Prowse’s death, many of his colleagues took to social media to share memories of him, speaking of his generosity and kindness.

It’s a moving look back at a life, and an unconventional career that made a memorable impact on numerous viewers of all ages.

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