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Dave Prowse 1935-2020

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I was watching news coverage of one of the glide tests for the Space Shuttle Enterprise on tv in June 1977, and for some reason they showed a clip from a new space movie that had not been on my radar, Star Wars. It was my first glimpse of Darth Vader, and I didn’t even know his name yet! I had a dream that night that this sinister, scary fellow was chasing me, that’s how big an impression Dave made on me as a kid.

He was also the first Star Wars character I ever saw a photo of unamsked, not an easy thing to find in the early days.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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I have always loved his performance as the character. He truly was a huge part of this great series. It’s a shame he was blacklisted from Star Wars for decades.

I will absolutely continue to cherish his great work in this series.

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A few Prowse roles you might have missed…

A minotaur in a 1972 Doctor Who story.

An android in the 1970’s British kid’s Sci-Fi series The Tomorrow People

An alien monster on Space: 1999 SPOILER! It’s actually a robot.

Jabberwocky (1977) He played two different knights in this.

And one of my personal faves, the personal bodyguard of the lead singer of Disaster Area in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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This music video from 2017 was Prowse’s final screen appearance. Dave was a promoter for the band!
https://youtu.be/FnptWZDtdHw
Darth Vader being a rock band manager is something I need to wrap my brain around.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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He also was Christopher Reeve’s trainer for Superman. R.I.P. Dave.

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David Prowse acted out arguably the most iconic villain in cinema history, yet he was most proud of playing the Green Cross Code Man from 1975, encouraging road safety in the UK.

That says a lot. R.I.P. to a legend.

“Remember, the Force will be with you. Always.”

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Some behind-the-scenes photos from the set of Star Wars.

“Remember, the Force will be with you. Always.”

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A true loss. RIP.

Also, and may God forgive me, I do find the idea of Vader having sideburns under his helmet hilarious.

“That Darth Vader, man. Sure does love eating Jedi.”

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RIP David Prowse 😞

Thanks for creating one of the most iconic movie villains with your distinctive body language & posture.

Rogue One is redundant. Just play the first mission of DARK FORCES.
Being surrounded by yes men: the hallmark of a corrupt leader.
‘The best visual effects in the world will not compensate for a story told badly.’ - V.E.S.
‘Star Wars is a buffet, enjoy the stuff you want, and leave the rest.’ - SilverWook

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 (Edited)

 

“Many people will know me for being the ultimate screen villain, Star Wars’ Darth Vader. But being a ‘goodie goodie’ and heading up the Green Cross Code campaign, helping to save thousands of lives has always been the ultimate honour.”

- Dave Prowse, MBE.
 

RIP.

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https://youtu.be/O6AxQyBsbu8

Was just watching this short clip from a BBC interview, broadcast June 1980. Prowse is clearly lovely both for Jackie Collins to talk to and anyone to listen to. Particularly funny to hear of the horny ‘fan mail’ sent to him from fans who’d managed to fall for Darth Vader! Definitely one of the weirdest fetishes I’ve ever heard of…

Unfortunately he’s accompanied by a background rendition of ‘Rule Britannia’ from Musician’s Union protestors. After about a minute’s research, from what I can tell they were protesting because of the BBC’s decision to axe some of their house orchestras due to a deficiency in income.

“Remember, the Force will be with you. Always.”

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I really wish he’d been at Celebration in 2017 for the 40th anniversary of Star Wars, or at least in a video like Liam Neeson and Samuel L. Jackson sent. His absence has been regrettable.

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Rodney-2187 said:

I really wish he’d been at Celebration in 2017 for the 40th anniversary of Star Wars, or at least in a video like Liam Neeson and Samuel L. Jackson sent. His absence has been regrettable.

Blame Lucas.

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Is it known what they fell out over?

“Remember, the Force will be with you. Always.”

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jedi_bendu said:

Is it known what they fell out over?

There are a few threads about it on here, in the ‘Characters & Actors’ section of the OT Index, and oojason covered some of it in his George Lucas: Unreliable Narrator & Time Travelling Revisionist… thread.

There is also a ton of information online, though much of it without the journalist in question admitting it was NOT David Prowse who was leaking information on the film to him.

The 2015 ‘I Am Your Father’ documentary is very much worth a viewing for more information too 👍

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It’s hard to say goodbye to a legend like this. His performance helped make Vader the immortal icon he is today, and left a powerful impression on me as a child, and on many others. He had such immense presence everytime he was onscreen, so that every moment was memorable, and that no doubt led to Vader being my favorite character. Prowse was very often underappreciated for his role, sadly, so I hope he’ll now be given due honor as people say goodbye to him and remember how important he was to the trilogy.

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crissrudd4554 said:

Rodney-2187 said:

I really wish he’d been at Celebration in 2017 for the 40th anniversary of Star Wars, or at least in a video like Liam Neeson and Samuel L. Jackson sent. His absence has been regrettable.

Blame Lucas.

I know. I love George, but he makes it difficult.

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Rodney-2187 said:

crissrudd4554 said:

Rodney-2187 said:

I really wish he’d been at Celebration in 2017 for the 40th anniversary of Star Wars, or at least in a video like Liam Neeson and Samuel L. Jackson sent. His absence has been regrettable.

Blame Lucas.

I know. I love George, but he makes it difficult.

He does, he really does.

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 (Edited)

jedi_bendu said:

https://youtu.be/O6AxQyBsbu8

Was just watching this short clip from a BBC interview, broadcast June 1980. Prowse is clearly lovely both for Jackie Collins to talk to and anyone to listen to. Particularly funny to hear of the horny ‘fan mail’ sent to him from fans who’d managed to fall for Darth Vader! Definitely one of the weirdest fetishes I’ve ever heard of…

Unfortunately he’s accompanied by a background rendition of ‘Rule Britannia’ from Musician’s Union protestors. After about a minute’s research, from what I can tell they were protesting because of the BBC’s decision to axe some of their house orchestras due to a deficiency in income.

I was thinking about that this morning. Keep in mind what Vader looked like under the mask wasn’t known and only hinted at in ESB, which hadn’t been out long when he was interviewed. I’m sure a Chippendale’s dancer must have done a Vader act at some point.
I’ve heard the actor who played Pinhead in the Hellraiser movies has groupies too. 😉

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