Darth Vader actor David Prowse to end public appearances over ill health

David Prowse, the actor who played Darth Vader in the original ‘Star Wars’ movies, is quitting making personal appearances due to ill health.

82-year-old Prowse, who was a regular on the sci-fi convention scene for decades, made the announcement through his Twitter page.

“Beginning in January 2018, Dave will no longer be doing any personal appearances or conventions due to health problems,” it read.

Though no details of his health problems were mentioned in the announcement, he revealed in 2014 that the actor had been diagnosed with dementia.

He told the Daily Mirror: “Sometimes I can’t remember things I did yesterday.

“That worries me more than not remembering something 20 years ago.

“There’s nothing you can do. They’ve put me on tablets. I don’t feel it working though. I don’t feel improved at all.

“I don’t feel in any shape or form like I am demented – I’m not staggering around and I’ve never worried about it. It’s other people who noticed it – my wife has probably noticed it more than me.”

Six-foot-five Prowse, who was a former body builder, provided the imposing figure of Vader in all three original ‘Star Wars’ movies, ‘A New Hope’, ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ and ‘Return of the Jedi’.

But though he was the one appearing in front of the cameras, Vader’s voice was later dubbed in by James Earl Jones.

His thick West Country accent can be heard delivering lines in footage from the original sets, a fact which lead to Carrie Fisher nicknaming Prowse ‘Darth Farmer’.

As well as his role as Vader, he was also known by kids across the country in the 70s and 80s as the Green Cross Code Man, appearing in a host of public information films about road safety.

He also appeared on shows like ‘The Two Ronnies’ and ‘The Morecambe and Wise Show’, and was awarded the MBE for services to charity and road safety in 2000.

His final screen appearance will be in the music video for the Welsh singer Jayce Lewis.

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