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George Lucas on Sunday mourned David Prowse, the man behind the Darth Vader mask. The towering Englishman who played Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy died Saturday morning following a short illness. He was 85.
Although James Earl Jones gave the character his iconic voice, it was actor-bodybuilder Prowse who wore the legendary sci-fi suit.
“David brought a physicality to Darth Vader that was essential for the character,” Lucas said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “He made Vader leap off the page and on to the big screen, with an imposing stature and movement performance to match the intensity and undercurrent of Vader’s presence.”
Prowse also appeared in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange in 1971, which is where Lucas first saw him.
“David was up for anything and contributed to the success of what would become a memorable, tragic figure. May he rest in peace,” Lucas said Sunday.
Mark Hamill also shared his sorrow over the death of the Star Wars icon — one half of his screen father.
“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,” the Luke Skywalker actor tweeted along with multiple images.
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