His face is etched in the annals of film history. Luke Skywalker staring into a double sunset while the unforgettable music of John Williams rises in the background. Forevermore, the face of our beloved, young Skywalker will belong to Mark Hamill, who officially turned into an old man on Sunday. The now 60-year-old actor has been largely off the radar since the final taping of Return of the Jedi in the early 1980s. But he’s not alone in the Star Wars actors’ ‘old man’ category: Harrison Ford is 69 and David Prowse is 76.
David Prowse, you ask? Of course. If you know Star Wars, you know his image and you know his figure. Prowse was the original Darth Vader whose face was uncovered in the classic Jedi film from 1983. He was born in 1935, lived through World War II, and eventually became a British body builder before landing the iconic role that would make him one of the most famous men that no one knows.
At age 13, Prowse endured a serious knee injury that left him wearing braces and visiting hospitals for several years. After some serious work on his physical body, the injury faded for almost 40 years, reappearing in 1990, some time after Prowse was finished filming all of the Star Wars films that made him a legend. And since 2009, although he has been battling with prostate cancer (currently in remission), Prowse remains a ‘force’ to be reckoned with.
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