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Dave Prowse, actor who played Darth Vader, dies at 85

Prowse died Saturday after a short illness.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this file photo dated Thursday, May 12, 2005, the Los Angeles, USA, premiere of the movie "Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith", is reflected in the mask eyeglasses of iconic baddie character Darth Vader. The British actor, Prowse who played Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy, has died aged 85 on Saturday, according to an announcement by his agent Sunday Nov. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, FILE)

LONDON, UK — Dave Prowse, the British weightlifter-turned-actor who played Darth Vader in the original “Star Wars” trilogy, has died. He was 85. 

Prowse’s agent Thomas Bowington said Sunday that Prowse died Saturday after a short illness. 

Prowse represented England in weightlifting at the Commonwealth Games in the 1950s before breaking into the movies. 

In the 1970s, director George Lucas asked the 6-foot-6 inch actor to audition for the villainous Vader or the wookie Chewbacca in “Star Wars.” Prowse later told the BBC he chose Darth Vader because “you always remember the bad guys.” 

Physically, Prowse was perfect for the part. His lilting English West Country accent was considered less ideal, and the lines were re-recorded by James Earl Jones. 

Credit: AP
FILE - In this file photo dated Friday, May 7, 1999, Dave Prowse, the original Darth Vader from the "Star Wars Trilogy," poses during the New York Comic and Fantasy Creators Convention. The British actor, Prowse who played Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy, has died aged 85 on Saturday, according to an announcement by his agent Sunday Nov. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Lynsey Addario, FILE)