Ill health forces Darth Vader actor David Prowse to end public appearances
The man behind the mask of Star Wars villain Darth Vadar, David Prowse, has announced he will be stepping down from certain public appearances due to health problems.
The British actor, 72, has said that this will include both personal appearances and conventions from January.
A statement posted on his Twitter account on Thursday, read: “Beginning in January 2018, Dave will no longer be doing any personal appearances or conventions due to health problems.”
Prowse portrayed Luke Skywalker’s ominous nemesis in the original trilogy of the sci-fi films, although the character’s voice was famously provided by US actor James Earl Jones.
Proswe was reportedly nicknamed Darth Farmer by his late Star Wars co-star Carrie Fisher, because of his strong West Country accent.
He has been a familiar face on UK television for decades, with roles in Doctor Who in 1972, The Two Ronnies, The Kenneth Williams Show and The Morecambe & Wise Show.
Over the past two years he has also starred in series Mission Backup Earth and Southern Troopers.
In 2014 it was reported that Prowse had been diagnosed with dementia, and he said in an interview with the Daily Mirror that “there’s nothing you can do”.
With the character of Darth Vadar killed off earlier in the Star Wars franchise, Prose had joked: “I would have loved to have done something in (2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens), even if it was just a cameo, but I would probably forget my lines.”
Prowse recently appeared in a music video for Shields, a single by Welsh singer Jayce Lewis. He described it as his “final on screen appearance”.
His other accolades include being awarded with an MBE in 2000 for service to both charity and road safety, following his road safety ad campaign as the Green Cross Code Man.