Watch: Darth Vader actor Dave Prowse dies aged 85
David Prowse’s family have shared the heartbreaking news that they weren’t able to say a final goodbye to him because of COVID restrictions.
According to The Sun, his daughter Rachel, 50, said: “It’s horrible that COVID restrictions meant we did not get to see him and say goodbye.
“But when we went to collect his stuff from the hospital the nurse said what a cool guy he was.
“He was such a larger-than-life character. He would have loved to see himself trending on Twitter.”
Prowse, who was 85, was a father of three and was also known for his bodybuilding and weightlifting career, which along with his 6ft 6in height meant he landed a number of bad guy and villain roles.
Rachel said: “He might have looked quite scary but as a person he was a sweet, kind and generous man.
“He really was a gentle giant. And to us he was our dad.”
The actor’s Star Wars co-stars paid tribute to him following the news of his death.
So sad to hear David Prowse has passed. He was a kind man & much more than Darth Vader. Actor-Husband-Father-Member of the Order of the British Empire-3 time British Weightlifting Champion & Safety Icon the Green Cross Code Man. He loved his fans as much as they loved him. #RIP pic.twitter.com/VbDrGu6iBz
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) November 29, 2020
Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker, tweeted: “He was a kind man and much more than Darth Vader.
"He loved his fans as much as they loved him."
C-3PO actor Anthony Daniels tweeted: "Dave's iconic figure dominated the finished film in '77 and has done so ever since.”
Prowse also worked as a personal trainer, getting Christopher Reeve into shape for Superman.
His other acting work included parts in The Saint, Doctor Who, the 1967 version of Casino Royale, and he played Frankenstein’s monster twice in Hammer horror films.
He was offered the part of either Darth Vader or Chewbacca by George Lucas, and said he chose Darth Vader because “everyone remembers the villain”.
Prowse had said he was most proud of his work as the Green Cross Code Man in TV road safety campaigns, and he won an MBE for his part in helping to cut road traffic accident deaths.
Watch: David Prowse was immensely affable, C-3PO actor says