Former weightlifter and actor Dave Prowse, popularly known for playing the iconic villain Darth Vader in the 'Star Wars' trilogy, passed away on Sunday. He was 85.
Prowse's management team took to their official twitter handle and wrote, "It's with great regret and heart-wrenching sadness for us and million of fans around the world, to announce that our client DAVE PROWSE M.B.E. has passed away at the age of 85."
His agent Thomas Bowington revealed that 'The Empire Strikes Back' actor passed away due to a short illness.
Producer Jason Joiner took to Facebook to mourn the demise and wrote, "We are very sad to have to inform you that Dave Prowse has passed away asked 85. Dave has been suffering for some time and has not been attending events for several years, His first ever collators event was with us Showmasters in the UK in the 80s and his last ever public evening the world was also with us the Dave Prowse Empire Day ran for him to say one last good by to all his fans, Dave was dedicated to meeting the fans for decades and lots of fans first ever guest they met was Dave in the early days of Comic Cons and collators events , Dave was larger than life and he will so very much missed our love and thoughts go out to his family."
Paying emotional tribute to Dave Prowse, actor Daniel Logan tweeted: "Sad to hear of the passing of a #StarWars family member. RIP Dave Prowse. Darth Vader wouldn't be the same without you in the costume. We had many fun times & laughs at cons together over the years. Glad to have been able to call you a friend. Rest now and be one with the Force!"
Known for playing the ionic Darth Vader in the original 'Star Wars' trilogy, Prowse has also represented England at the Commonwealth Games 1962 in weightlifting. He also competed in Mr Universe competitions.
The weightlifter-turned-actor made his debut in 1968 with 'Casino Royale', where he essayed the role of Frankenstein’s Monster. Prowse later featured in 'A Clockwork Orange' and several other Hammer Horror films. He is also known for playing the Green Cross Code Man, a character which was used in road safety campaigns in the UK.