David Prowse, the man whose body gave Darth Vader his intimidating presence at the core of the original trilogy of "Star Wars" films, has just announced his retirement from appearing at international conventions.
The 81-year-old British actor made the announcement on his Twitter feed, where he expressed his sadness at no longer being able to travel around the world to meet "Star Wars" fans in person.
— DARTH VADER (@isDARTHVADER) October 3, 2016
Famously, Prowse also spoke the lines for his character on the set of the original 1977 "Star Wars" film, but his distinctive West Country voice was later replaced by the gravelly tones of the American stage and film actor James Earl Jones for the film's theatrical release.
Jones will again lend his vocal talents to the Lord of the Sith for the character's appearance in the "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story", with British actor Spencer Wilding stepping into Prowse's black armoured boots to provide Vader's physical form.
Aside from his role in a galaxy far, far away, Prowse is best known in the UK as the distinctly British superhero Green Cross Man, star of a series of public information films in the 70s and 80s. Green Cross Man's powers were modest, and really only extended to telling children how to cross busy roads safely.
However, it remains a part Prowse is proud of to this day, and he recently returned to the role in a new short to remind adults that, despite the modern distractions of headphones and smartphones, they are not immune to the dangers of road traffic.
Darth Vader returns to cinema screens on December 16, in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” starring Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Jiang Wen and Forest Whitaker.
(via Hollywood Reporter)