David Charles Prowse MBE (1 July 1935 - 28 November 2020) was an English bodybuilder, weightlifting athlete, fitness trainer and character actor born in Bristol.
He was best known for physically portraying Darth Vader in costume in the original Star Wars trilogy, helped by his height at the time (6ft7). However, due to Prowse's voice not sounding deep or intimidating at all (hear for yourself), Vader's voice was performed by James Earl Jones.
He served as Christopher Reeve's personal trainer to get him into shape for the role of Superman in Superman: The Movie and its sequels, and he was also Cary Elwes' personal trainer for his role as Westley in The Princess Bride.
On a more trivia note, he left a mark in British culture as the first Green Cross Code man, a character aimed at children in road safety ads.
He retired in 2016, citing health problems and old age. He passed away on November 28, 2020 at age 85.
Filmography of note:
- Casino Royale (1967) as Frankenstein's Creation
- The Horror of Frankenstein (1970) as Frankenstein's Monster
- A Clockwork Orange (1971) as Julian (Mr. Alexander's bodyguard)
- Vampire Circus (1972) as the Strongman
- Up the Chastity Belt (1973) as Sir Grumbel
- Doctor Who: The Time Monster as The Minotaur
- Jabberwocky (1977) as Red Herring / Black Knights
- Star Wars as Darth Vader
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1981) as the bodyguard of Hotblack Desiato's body.
- Saving Star Wars (2004) As Himself