David Prowse, the original actor in the Darth Vader suit retired from conventions. A post on Prowse’s Facebook page explains he is retiring due to poor health.
David Prowse Unmasked
Darth Vader is the most iconic villain in movie history. However, the man behind the mask isn’t as iconic. David Prowse filled out the alluring black suit in the original Star Wars trilogy. Over the course of the films, he felt increasingly pushed out of the role. As the role grew more physically demanding, the film’s fight choreographer, Bob Anderson inhabited the suit. Eventually, tensions with LucasFilm’s leadership led to the actor being dis-invited from official Star Wars events.
Fortunately, Star Wars fans are among the most passionate on the planet. As a result, the former body builder continued appearances at pop culture conventions around the planet. He even became an honorary leader of the 501st Legion. Sadly, due to health problems, David Prowse is retiring from public appearances.
In a post on his Facebook page, the 82-year old actor announced his retirement from public signings. Later, his management agency elaborated on the post and clarified that he will be making appearances through the end of the year. However, they are limited to appearances close to his UK home.
Convention are wonderful opportunities for fans. They can get up close and personal with many of their heroes. However, it’s important to remember the humanity of these personalities. As these convention staples reach a certain age, the convention circuit becomes prohibitive.
David Prowse gave his time generously to fans across the globe. Now, he is prioritizing his health. As fans, we must respect this decision and wish him well. His body of work is not large. But, his presence on screen changed cinema forever. And it will continue to strike fear into audiences for decades.