AceShowbiz - Actor Dave Prowse died following a battle with Covid-19, his daughter has confirmed.
The star, who played Darth Vader in the original "Star Wars" trilogy, passed away following a bout of the killer virus after previously being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.
His daughter Rachel confirmed Prowse spent two weeks in hospital before his death, revealing that, amid the pandemic, the family were unable to see him in his final days and his funeral will only be a small gathering.
"He died of coronavirus. It's horrible to have not got to see him on the ward and say goodbye, it makes it even harder," she said, reported the Daily Mirror newspaper.
"We would have had a big celebration of his life, but now we are not going to be able to do the send off we would have wanted for him."
Rachel, 50, paid tribute to her father, confessing that although he was known for mainly portraying villains on the big screen, in real life he was a gentle giant.
"He was a really nice, kind, gentle man," she explained of the former bodybuilder. "He might have looked quite scary and was known for playing villains and lots of different monsters in films, but as a person he was a sweet, kind and generous man."
"He would have loved all this - people tweeting and commenting about him," she added of the outpouring of tributes following his death over the weekend (28-29Nov20). "He would have loved to see himself trending on Twitter. It's lovely to see how much he was loved and what an impact he had on people's lives."
Among those honouring Prowse was "Star Wars" creator George Lucas, who remembered him as being "up for anything," noting he "contributed to the success of what would become a memorable, tragic figure" in his role as the iconic Sith Lord.
"He made Vader leap off the page and on to the big screen," the producer wrote in a tribute, which concluded with the words, "May he rest in peace."