Mr. Prowse, who passed away last night at age 85, already had gained his Geek Cred even before taking on his most famous role: more on that in a second. Prowse starred in FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL, as the titular Monster from Hell, and in THE HORROR OF FRANKENSTEIN, also in the role of the Monster, providing yet one of the many links between the STAR WARS franchise and Hammer Studios classic Horror flicks. (Peter Cushing, Prowse’s costar in the FRANKENSTEIN films, of course, provided another with his portrayal of Moff Tarkin , and Christopher Lee appeared in the prequels, although those roles were beneath the great man and we don’t want to really talk about them.) Prowse also appeared in such celebrated genre films as A CLOCKWORK ORANGE and THE PEOPLE THAT TIME FORGOT.
Going back to STAR WARS: David Prowse was given the choice of playing either Chewbacca or Darth Vader. He chose the latter, because he felt that, in all great movies, the heel was always the most memorable. We all love Chewbacca, but Mr. Prowse was right, for sure. While James Earl Jones provided the voice acting for Darth Vader, it was the 6-foot-seven-inch bodybuilder Prowse inside the costume. He was the man behind that infamous mask.