Fond Farewells – Dave Prowse AKA Darth Vader and Green Cross Man

Archvillain Darth Vader, cover of TIME Magazine, May 19, 1980. Artwork by M. Arisman.

Another Star Wars legend passes on and joins that great gallery of personas who delighted us as kids in a galaxy far, far away.

I learned earlier today that actor David ‘Dave’ Prowse has passed away aged 85. Dave was famous for his role as Darth Vader in the original trilogy Star Wars films. As a boy I had a poster of Vader on my wall which I cherished, along with my Kenner action figure of him. But it wasn’t just Dave’s role as the Dark Lord Sith which captured my imagination as a kid, it was his role as the Green Cross Man in the British run of TV and print adverts which drummed into my head the importance of road safety. I will say that each time I crossed the road as a youngling I thought of Green Cross Man’s advice (and still do today).

Perhaps a mark of a great actor is to be able to play both the villain and hero. For me, and I’m sure for countless other fans and admirers, Dave Prowse accomplished this role splendidly.

Below is a small tribute to one of my all-time best childhood heroes, represented in print adverts and toys from the TVTA collection.

I Am Your Father. Dave Prowse documentary. Chirashi poster. Japan . 2015.

Green Cross Code. UK. 1979.

Star Wars Miro Meccano prizes. France. 1980.

Star Wars Pin-Up Special. 1978. UK.

Star Wars bubble bath. UK. 1978.

Green Cross Code. UK. 1978.

The Empire Strikes Back. 1980. UK.

Forbidden Planet welcomes Dave Prowse and Anthony Daniels. UK. 1980.

Waddington Design a spaceship competition. UK. 1984.

Kenner Darth Vader action figure. Hong Kong COO with letter A hilt. 1977. From the collection of TVTA.

1978 Die Cast Darth Vader figure, made by the Takara company, Japan. From the collection of TVTA.

1978 Die Cast Darth Vader figure, made by the Takara company, Japan. From the collection of TVTA.

Dave Prowse in 2013. Image: Wikipedia


RIP David Prowse. 1935 – 2020.


 

8 thoughts on “Fond Farewells – Dave Prowse AKA Darth Vader and Green Cross Man

  1. Hi TVTA, the galaxy and the world of pop culture and film changed forever when the airlock of the Tantive IV exploded and that dark figure of Darth Vader loomed out from the smoke.
    It’s fitting in a way that David Prowse was a champion bodybuilder and weight lifter as he carried the Star Wars franchise and cinema with his portrayal of the greatest onscreen villain.
    He will be missed and remembered forever as he has become more powerful than any of us can imagine…now one with the Force,
    Great tribute and thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. RIP Dave Prowse, a sad loss indeed. I am not much of a Star Wars person to e honest, but have always loved Darth Vader as the ultimate cinematic baddie. I met Dave in his Green Cross Code guise when I was a wee lad, he came to our school to give a talk on road safety, a gentle giant and a gentleman.

    Like

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