David Prowse dead at 85

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David Prowse, the former body-builder who played Darth Vadar in the original Star Wars trilogy, is dead at the age of 85.

The English-born actor died early Sunday, according to his management company, Bowington Management.

Prowse was best know for his physical portrayal of the iconic villain voiced by James Earl Jones.

But he played other iconic roles, including Frankenstein’s monster and the bodyguard Julian in “A Clockwork Orange“.

“May the force be with him, always,” said his agent, Thomas Bowington.

“Though famous for playing many monsters – for myself, and all who knew Dave and worked with him, he was a hero in our lives.”

Prowse said in a 2016 interview that George Lucas had offered him a choice of portraying Chewbacca or Darth Vader.

“There’s a character called Chewbacca, which is like a huge teddy bear, or alternatively, there’s the main villain in the piece,” he said the director told him.

“Well, there’s no choice, is there?” Prowse quipped.

Lucas later banned Prowse from Star Wars events after wrongly accusing him of leaking Vader’s fate in “Return of the Jedi“.

“Nobody will ever forget Darth Vader,” Prowse said in a 2017 interview. 

“And it is a great honor for me to have played the ultimate screen villain of all time.”

It is unknown if his death was linked to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.