David Prowse couldn't say goodbye to family because of COVID restrictions

Watch: Darth Vader actor Dave Prowse dies aged 85

David Prowse’s family have shared the heartbreaking news that they weren’t able to say a final goodbye to him because of COVID restrictions.

The actor, known for playing Darth Vader in the original Star Wars films and for his work as the Green Cross Code Man, died on Saturday.

According to The Sun, his daughter Rachel, 50, said: “It’s horrible that COVID restrictions meant we did not get to see him and say goodbye.

“But when we went to collect his stuff from the hospital the nurse said what a cool guy he was.

“He was such a larger-than-life character. He would have loved to see himself trending on Twitter.”

Darth Vader actor David Prowse has died aged 85.
Darth Vader actor David Prowse has died aged 85.
David Prowse was known for his role as Darth Vader.
David Prowse was known for his role as Darth Vader.

Prowse, who was 85, was a father of three and was also known for his bodybuilding and weightlifting career, which along with his 6ft 6in height meant he landed a number of bad guy and villain roles.

Rachel said: “He might have looked quite scary but as a person he was a sweet, kind and generous man.

“He really was a gentle giant. And to us he was our dad.”

The actor’s Star Wars co-stars paid tribute to him following the news of his death.

Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker, tweeted: “He was a kind man and much more than Darth Vader.

"He loved his fans as much as they loved him."

C-3PO actor Anthony Daniels tweeted: "Dave's iconic figure dominated the finished film in '77 and has done so ever since.”

Read more: Zack Snyder says Star Wars doesn’t suit him anymore

Prowse also worked as a personal trainer, getting Christopher Reeve into shape for Superman.

His other acting work included parts in The Saint, Doctor Who, the 1967 version of Casino Royale, and he played Frankenstein’s monster twice in Hammer horror films.

He was offered the part of either Darth Vader or Chewbacca by George Lucas, and said he chose Darth Vader because “everyone remembers the villain”.

Prowse had said he was most proud of his work as the Green Cross Code Man in TV road safety campaigns, and he won an MBE for his part in helping to cut road traffic accident deaths.

Watch: David Prowse was immensely affable, C-3PO actor says