David Prowse, the hulking, 6-foot-6 former bodybuilder who played Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy, died of coronavirus-related complications, according to his daughter.
Prowse, 85, died Nov. 29. The BBC, in its reporting on the death of the English-born actor, quoted his agent, Thomas Bowington, on his death. Bowington characterized it as happening after a short illness, and termed it “a truly and deeply heart-wrenching loss for us and millions of fans all over the world.”
But an interview with Prowse’s daughter that surfaced the next day in publications, including The Sun, sherevealed the actor died of complications from coronavirus.
Deadline relayed details from the interview, in which Rachel Prowse said, “It’s horrible that COVID restrictions meant we did not get to see him and say goodbye. But when we went to collect his stuff from the hospital, the nurse said what a cool guy he was. He was such a larger-than-life character. He would have loved to see himself trending on Twitter.”
Prowse also noted that pandemic restrictions will keep her family from holding “a big celebration of his life,” adding, “We are not going to be able to do the send-off we would have wanted for him.”
NME added this quote from her in the interview: “He might have looked quite scary but as a person, he was a sweet, kind, and generous man. He really was a gentle giant. And to us, he was our dad.”
Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in the movie series, commented on Twitter about Prouse’s death. As Star Wars fans know, Hamill’s character had a complicated father-son relationship with Prowse’s character throughout the series.
Prowse is the latest in a series of celebrities who have died from COVID-19. The list also includes Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, baseball Hall of Famer Tom Seaver, jazz legend Ellis Marsalis, Jr., playwright Terrence McNally, and musician John Prine.