David Prowse began his career as a bodybuilder and weightlifter before his acting career took off.

He had a number of prominent roles throughout his 50-year career but is perhaps best known as Darth Vader in the Star Wars trilogy, although the characteristic voice was portrayed by James Earl Jones.

David Prowse has now died at the age of 85 as a result of a short-term illness, several media outlets state.

The character Darth Vader has icon status.

Photo: Chris Pizzello / AP / TT

"Great melancholy"

"It is with great sadness and heartbreaking grief for us and millions of fans around the world that we announce that our client Dave Prowse has passed away at the age of 85," the actor's agency Bowington Management wrote on Twitter.

David Prowse made his film debut in 1967 in the James Bond parody Casino Royale where he played Frankenstein's monsters.

After that, he also starred in the Hammer films "Horror of Frankenstein" and Frankenstein and the monster from hell ".

It was in connection with his participation in the cult film Clockwork Orange that he was discovered by Star Wars director George Lucas, who invited him to audition for the roles of Chewbacca and Darth Vader.

He later told the BBC that he chose to play Darth Vader in front of Chewbacca with the motivation: "You always remember the bad guys".

"A hero in our lives"

David Prowse also played Green Cross Code Man, a superhero character who taught young people about road safety in Britain in the 1970s.

The role is the one he himself has stated that he was most proud of in his career.

The operation also earned him a place in the British Empire Order, MBE.

"Even though he was known for playing various monsters, he was a hero in our lives for me and everyone who worked with him," his agent Thomas Bowington told the BBC.

- May the power always be with him!