London [England], November 29 (ANI): David Prowse, the English bodybuilder and actor who portrayed the villain character of Darth Vader in the original 'Star Wars' trilogy, died at the age of 85, confirmed his management on Sunday.
In a Twitter post, Prowse's management company Bowington Management confirmed that the actor died following a short illness: "It's with great regret and heart-wrenching sadness for us and millions of fans around the world, to announce that our client DAVE PROWSE M.B.E. has passed away at the age of 85."According to The Hollywood Reporter, David was misdiagnosed with tuberculosis of the knee and forced to wear a leg splint for four years as a youngster (it turned out he actually had osteoarthritis). Yet he went on to compete for the Mr Universe bodybuilding title in 1960 before capturing the British weightlifting championship three straight years running, from 1962-64 and at age 50, he was still able to dead-lift 700 pounds.
Actor Mark Hamill, who played Skywalker in the Star Wars series, shared his grief about the actor's demise in a Twitter post on Sunday.
"So sad to hear David Prowse has passed," Hamill wrote. "He was a kind manmuch more than Darth Vader. Actor-Husband-Father-Member of the Order of the British Empire-3 time British Weightlifting ChampionSafety Icon the Green Cross Code Man. He loved his fans as much as they loved him."According to Fox News, the actor was also good friends with weightlifters Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno in his early years.
In an interview with BBC News, David recalled the days when he chose the character, Darth Vader, over Chewbacca when he was asked to audition for the roles by 'Star Wars' director George Lucas.
''You always remember the bad guys,'' the late actor said in the interview.
The 'Doctor Who' actor was infamous for playing Britain's Green Cross Code Man, a character created in the 1970s to teach children about road safety. In 2000, he was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire for his service in that role, according to a report by Fox News. (ANI)