My David Prowse Story:
Dave and I were on a first name basis. We met multiple times at conventions, starting in the 1990s. The first time, he bought a few items at my booth, and I advised him one of the items was prohibited in the UK (He had homes here and there at the time). He commented he'd just stuff it in his kit bag, it wasn't as if he was a criminal planning to harm anyone. I guess it worked.
He wasn't as tall as I expected, and I asked about that and his overall fitness (still good), that he hadn't gotten fat like some pros who stopped.
He said the height loss was from hip surgery, and that, "You have to keep working out, it's a lifestyle, and once you're in, you need to maintain it." Then he added, "But you have to remember, at my biggest, I was only four inches bigger than Arnie."
"ONLY." Four inches. Bigger. Than Arnold Schwarzenegger. So, a 64" chest. No big deal.
Sure, there were bigger builders by then, though most of them are just knotty and lumpy and not as well formed.
But damned few.
The year GenCon moved to Indy, I was setting up, and he and Jerry (Jeremy Bulloch) were part of a celebrity autograph ring. I walked past and said, "Hey, Dave!"
I said we were doing dinner later, Chinese, did he want to come along?
He said the hosts had plans for them, but thanks.
I said he should stop by the booth when he got a chance, right over there. And he did.
The amusing part was one of the teenagers early in line, waiting for an autograph, who exclaimed, "He just calls him, 'Dave'!"
Yeah, dude, actors have names too.
The autographed pic I have of Dave as Vader reads, "Impressive. Your knives are impressive."
Yeah, I heard it in James Earl Jones' voice, too. But it was Dave who wrote it.