David Prowse: The Sith Passes

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Daphne Renoux

The actor who played the infamous Darth Vader passed away from COVID-19 last week.

Daphne Renoux, Staff Writer

Just last week, the actor who played one of Hollywood’s most infamous villains passed away at the age of 85. Dave Prowse, Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy, passed away due to complications from COVID-19 on Nov. 28, 2020. Prowse was an English weightlifter and actor who played various roles during the 50 years of his career.

Prowse was born on July 1, 1935, in Bristol, England. He quickly developed an interest in bodybuilding since he had the stature for it, standing at six and one-half feet tall. He won the British heavyweight weightlifting championship in 1962 and kept the title for two years straight.

He continued his weightlifting career while beginning a new one in the film industry. First as a trainer and later as an actor, Prowse was present during the making of many movies such as Superman in 1978 as a trainer and later in Hammerhead 1968 as George.

Prowse’s most well-known role was the one of Darth Vader in the first three Star Wars movies. Prowse worked alongside James Earl Jones, who voiced the infamous villain as Prowse’s west country accent was deemed unfit for the character. With Jones’ help, Prowse brought the Lord of the Sith to life by giving the character a body. Some of his other roles included Julian in A Clockwork Orange” and the Frankenstein monster in “Casino Royale”, “The Horror of Frankenstein” and “The Monster from Hell”. He was also known for playing the Green Cross Man, a British superhero invented in 1975 to campaign road safety for children.

Darth Vadar is an iconic villain especially for the phrase “I am your father”. He makes you go through so many emotions and once you get to know his back story you get even more involved with the character of Darth Vader. As for the actor, he did a great job portraying his role..”

— freshman Auriane Lapierre

“I am sad because he played a terrific role in Star Wars and is now iconic. This also shows that COVID-19 can still take away the people we expect the least,” freshman Auriane Lapierre said.

Despite playing one of the most known villains of Hollywood, Prowse never showed his face on camera, due to Vader wearing a mask at all times. This left the actor largely unrecognized for his work. As a matter of fact, in the final scene of the trilogy when Vader removes his mask, another actor was playing the role for unknown reasons.

Despite being unsung for his role in the Star Wars movies, Prowse created a legacy by playing this major role. He will also be remembered for winning so many weight lifting prizes and making a name for himself in the world of sports. Lastly, he was not only an actor but also a husband, father and a member of the Order of the British Empire.

“I do not think Prowse not receiving recognition is fair because he had a role in the movie just like Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker. But, I do think it is understandable because he was always wearing something on his face,” freshman Prune Mathiot said.

Prowse passed away in a hospital where he had been receiving treatment. The actor had retired in 2016 due to medical reasons and had been suffering from Alzheimer’s for years. In the end, his death was saddening for all as he was and will always be the original Darth Vader as well as a renowned actor.