British actor Dave Prowse, who played Darth Vader in the original "Star Wars" trilogy, has passed away at 85.
The news was confirmed by his management, Bowington Management, who called it really "heart-wrenching." According to the announcement, he passed away due to a short illness.
"It's with great regret and heart-wrenching sadness for us and millions of fans around the world, to announce that our client DAVE PROWSE M.B.E. has passed away at the age of 85," the company tweeted.
"Star Wars" Co-Stars Pay Tribute to Dave Prowse
Friends and former co-stars in the industry also paid tribute to the passing of the British actor. This includes Mark Hamill, who portrayed Luke Skywalker in the "Star Wars" film series,
"He was a kind man & much more than Darth Vader. Actor-Husband-Father-Member of the Order of the British Empire-3 time British Weightlifting Champion & Safety Icon the Green Cross Code Man. He loved his fans as much as they loved him," Hamill penned.
Meanwhile, in a statement posted on the "Star Wars" official site, the creator and legendary film director George Lucas honored Prowse's contribution to the said movie.
"David brought a physicality to Darth Vader that was essential for the character," he started.
Moreover, Lucas mentioned how dedicated he was during the filming of the movie: "He made Vader leap off the page and onto the big screen, with an imposing stature and movement performance to match the intensity and undercurrent of Vader's presence. David was up for anything and contributed to the success of what would become a memorable, tragic figure. May he rest in peace."
Lastly, co-star and fellow Brit Anthony Daniels remembered Prowse as a dominant actor.
"Dave's iconic figure dominated the finished film in '77 and has done so ever since," he tweeted.
Just like his "Star Wars" co-stars, fans around the world took to social media to express their sadness over the actor's death.
"Saddened to hear the news about David Prowse's passing. He played Darth Vader in the original trilogy. May the force be with him and his loved ones," one fan posted.
A second user also echoed the same sentiment and wrote, "Sad news this morning that David Prowse, who physically portrayed Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy, has died at age 85. Our thoughts go out to his loved ones. May the Force be with you."
Prowse is a Bristol native who was first recognized as a three-time weightlifting champion.
Before landing on the big screen, he represented England in weightlifting at the 1962 Commonwealth Games.
Because of his physique with a towering height of 6-foot-6, he was invited by Lucas to audition for the roles of Darth Vader and Chewbacca. However, Prowse chose the super villain voiced by James Earl Jones.
In his previous interview with BBC, he mentioned that he opted for Vader over Chewbacca because "you always remember the bad guys."
Aside from the iconic film, the weightlifter-turned-actor played the role of Frankenstein's monster in the 1970 film "The Horror of Frankenstein."