Darth Vader actor Dave Prowse dies aged 85

The Star Wars actor played the villain in the original trilogy

Darth Vader actor Dave Prowse has passed away following a short illness at the age of 85.

The Star Wars actor played the villain in the original trilogy while James Earl Jones voiced the role.

In a statement, Bowington Management said: "It's with great regret and heart-wrenching sadness for us and million of fans around the world, to announce that our client DAVE PROWSE M.B.E. has passed away at the age of 85."

Prowse's agent Thomas Bowington added: "May the force be with him, always!"

"Though famous for playing many monsters - for myself, and all who knew Dave and worked with him, he was a hero in our lives."

The British actor's role in the Star Wars trilogy brought him international fame.

The Bristolian, who was a former bodybuilder, had Darth Vader's voice originally recorded, however, his voice work did not make the cut.

The American actor who took on the role of Vader's voice played the part instead due to Prowse's West Country accent.

In 2016, during an interview on The Jonathan Ross Show, Princess Leia actor Carrie Fisher said: "We called him Darth Farmer".

Prowse was also known for his work as the Green Cross Code Man across UK television, a part that saw him educating kids about road safety.

For this, he received an MBE which is a British order of chivalry.

Other roles that Dave starred in during his lengthy career was Doctor Who in 1972, The Kenneth Williams Show, The Morecambe & Wise Show and The Two Ronnies.

He leaves behind his wife Norma E Scammell, who he married in 1963 and shares three children with.