The British film star, who was best known for donning the first Darth Vader suit in the original Star Wars trilogy, had battled a short illness.
Confirming the news, Prowse’s management said in a statement: ‘It’s with great regret and heart-wrenching sadness for us and million of fans around the world, to announce that our client DAVE PROWSE M.B.E. has passed away at the age of 85.’
His agent Thomas Bowington added: ‘May the force be with him, always! Though famous for playing many monsters – for myself, and all who knew Dave and worked with him, he was a hero in our lives.’
Born in Bristol in 1935, Prowse was, according to IMDB, raised by his mother and never knew his father. He developed a passion for bodybuilding and weight training in his early teens and competed in Mr Universe competitions, where he became friends with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno. He also shredded phone books under the stage-name Jack the Ripper.