Dave Prowse, actor who played Darth Vader, dies at 85

By JILL LAWLESS Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — Dave Prowse, the British weightlifter-turned-actor who played Darth Vader in the original "Star Wars" trilogy, has died. He was 85.

Prowse's agent Thomas Bowington said Sunday that Prowse died Saturday after a short illness. Prowse represented England in weightlifting at the Commonwealth Games in the 1950s before breaking into the movies.

In the 1970s, director George Lucas asked the 6-foot-6 inch actor to audition for the villainous Vader or the wookie Chewbacca in "Star Wars."

Prowse later told the BBC he chose Darth Vader because "you always remember the bad guys."

Physically, Prowse was perfect for the part. His lilting English West Country accent was considered less ideal, and the lines were re-recorded by James Earl Jones.

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