'Star Wars': Men Behind the Masks
Star Wars Men Behind the Mask
David Prowse – Darth Vader
While most people know that James Earl Jones gave voice to Anakin Skywalker's dark side, it was the 6-foot-7 David Prowse who gave Darth Vader his menacing stature. Prowse originally wanted to be a body builder, but he decided to focus exclusively on competitive weightlifting after he was told his ugly feet would hold him back. When Prowse failed to make the 1964 Olympic team, he decided to develop an act to showcase his feats of strength. He soon made the jump to television and film with roles in "The Horror of Frankenstein" (1970) and Stanley Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange" (1971). After he signed on to play the part of Darth Vader, Prowse went through principal photography in ignorance of the plan to overdub his voice in postproduction. Then midway through production of "Return of the Jedi" (1983), Prowse learned that when Darth Vader was finally unmasked, the part would be played by yet another actor. Prowse became vocal about his disappointment with Lucas--he was particularly vexed by the lack of profit sharing--and was finally banned from appearing at "Star Wars" conventions.