Prowse was cast as Vader for his imposing physique, even though the role was voiced by James Earl Jones.
But the weightlifter-turned-actor was most proud of playing the Green Cross Code Man. The role, promoting road safety in the UK, earned him an MBE.
"May the force be with him, always!" said his agent Thomas Bowington.
"Though famous for playing many monsters - for myself, and all who knew Dave and worked with him, he was a hero in our lives."
Mr Bowington called the actor's death, after a short illness, "a truly and deeply heart-wrenching loss for us and millions of fans all over the world".
Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars movies, said he was "so sad" to hear the news.
"He was a kind man and much more than Darth Vader," Hamill said on Twitter. "He loved his fans as much as they loved him."
Prowse's career as an actor spanned 50 years, but it was his role as the Sith Lord in Star Wars that brought him international fame.
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