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David Prowse (born July 1, 1935 in Bristol, England) is a former bodybuilder and weightlifter who became an actor. He was selected to play Darth Vader in the original trilogy and The Star Wars Holiday Special due to his height and girth. He would speak the lines from within the suit during filming in his Bristol accent. However, as this ultimately clashed with George Lucas's idea about Vader, James Earl Jones was dubbed over as Vader's voice — a fact unknown to Prowse at the time of filming.[source?] Prowse reprised his role as Vader for the games Star Wars: The Interactive Video Board Game and Star Wars Monopoly.
Prowse complains that he never got any publicity as Darth Vader. He had chosen to play Vader because he felt the villain was usually the most memorable. Prowse's favorite acting role, however, was as the Green Cross Code Man, a character used in public service announcements in the United Kingdom to teach children road safety.[source?]
Prowse attends fan conventions and signs his autographs "David Prowse IS Darth Vader." However, Prowse was banned from official Star Wars conventions, such as Star Wars Weekends in Orlando, by George Lucas, supposedly because of Prowse "annoying" him.
In 2005 Prowse joined Jeremy Bulloch, Michael Sheard and Orli Shoshan in the final two parts of UK fanfilm trilogy Order of the Sith. Prowse played a rebel officer in charge of the main character, Fuser Marucs. The films were made in aid of the Save the Children foundation.
It is a common misunderstanding that during the production of Star Wars: Rebel Assault II: The Hidden Empire, Prowse was hired once more to reprise his role as Vader in the game's full motion videos. Vader was actually portrayed by C. Andrew Nelson.
Early in his career Prowse was in a film called Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell, produced by the English Horror Film Company, Hammer Studios. Prowse played the role of the Frankenstein Monster. In the same film, Peter Cushing who would later play Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, plays Dr. Frankenstein.
Prowse is also known to sci-fi fans for playing a Minotaur in the Doctor Who story The Time Monster (1972) under the name Dave Prowse. He also appeared in the TV series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1980) as a bodyguard, also under the name Dave Prowse.
- Empire Building: The Remarkable Real Life Story of Star Wars
- "Star Sightings" - Star Wars Insider 56
- Star Wars: The Complete Vader