The 85-year-old, who played Darth Vader in famous sci-fi movies, died on Saturday, prompting a wave of tributes from fans and his fellow co-stars.
The Bristol-born 6ft 6in star was a former bodybuilder before playing the legendary villain, as well as becoming a road safety icon as superhero, The Green Cross Man.
His daughter Rachel, 50, told The Sun he died after two weeks in hospital. He had previously been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
The tributes were directed by Mark Hamill, 69, who played Luke Skywalker in the film franchise. He tweeted: “So sad to hear that David Prowse has passed away. He was a nice man and much more than Darth Vader.
“Actor, husband, father, member of the Order of the British Empire, three-time British weightlifting champion and safety icon The Green Cross Code Man.
“He loved his fans as much as they loved him. ”
David died on Saturday after a short illness, his agent Thomas Bowington said in a Facebook post.
Speaking of her father, Rachel said, “He might have looked pretty scary, but as a person he was a gentle, kind and generous man.
“He was really a gentle giant. And for us, it was our father. ”
Rachel went on to say that she was heartbroken not being able to say goodbye because “the Covid restrictions meant we couldn’t see it. ”
She said the nurses “said how cool he was” by collecting her things from the hospital.
Rachel added, “He was such a larger than life character. He would have loved to see himself fashionable on Twitter. ”
David began his career as a bodybuilder, weightlifter and personal trainer, counting Superman star Christopher Reeve among his clients.
He portrayed Luke Skywalker’s menacing foe in the original Star Wars trilogy films, although the character’s voice was provided by American actor James Earl Jones.
The Bristolian was reportedly nicknamed “Darth Farmer” by his Star Wars co-star, Carrie Fisher, because of his strong West Country accent.
His agent Thomas Bowington confirmed the sad news in a statement Sunday morning.
“May the force be with him, always!” ” he wrote.
“Although famous for playing many monsters – for myself, and for anyone who knew Dave and worked with him, he was a hero in our lives. ”
He described the death of the beloved actor as “a truly and deeply heartbreaking loss for us and millions of fans around the world.”
Prowse was a familiar face on British television for decades, with roles in Doctor Who in 1972, The Two Ronnies, The Kenneth Williams Show, and The Morecambe & Wise Show.
In recent years, he has also appeared in the Mission Backup Earth and Southern Troopers series.
While a role the British actor was most proud of was that of Green Cross Code Man – helping educate millions of people in the UK on how to cross the streets safely.
The star described the role as “the best job I’ve ever had” – and he was awarded an MBE for his work in promoting road safety in 2000.
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