Luke Skywalker actor Mark Hamill took to Twitter to honor fellow ‘Star Wars’ actor Dave Prowse, who played Darth Vader.
David Prowse died yesterday at the age of 85. Fans knew the actor for numerous roles, but none as iconic as the villain in the original “Star Wars” trilogy, Darth Vader.
Mark Hamill Pays Tribute to Costar
Mark Hamill, the actor who played Luke Skywalker, and surprisingly Darth Vader’s son, honored Prowse on Twitter.
“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“
In Prowse’s younger days, fans wouldn’t catch him on a big screen but rather in the gym. Throughout the 1960s, the six-foot-six man was Britain’s weightlifting champion and was even the heavyweight champion once.
Prowse also starred in “A Clockwork Orange” in 1971 as a bodyguard but was more notable as the Green Cross Code Man. The superhero was for children to promote road safety. In accordance with the British government, he appeared in television campaigns and toured schools to remind kids to stop, look, and listen before crossing the street. Prowse played the superhero role until 1990, when the campaign ended.
When the government saw him later play a villain and not a kid-friendly beloved superhero, they almost fired him. Luckily, they didn’t, as the actor says it was his favorite role to play.
In a 2014 interview with The Guardian, he said that playing the Green Cross Code Man was “the best job I’ve ever had, including my Star Wars role, and by far my proudest achievement.”
His cause of death has not been released at this time. However, he retired from the show business in 2016 due to poor health.
[H/T New York Times]