Darth Vader Swordsman Dead at 89

Bob Anderson was Hollywood's ultimate sword fighter
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2012 2:15 AM CST
Updated Jan 3, 2012 3:00 AM CST

Bob Anderson was so influential in the world of movie swordsmanship that any list of Hollywood's top 10 sword fights is likely to feature at least five examples of his work. Anderson, who has died at the age of 89, was an Olympian fencer for Britain before beginning a 60-year career in the movies, working as a choreographer, instructor, and stuntman, the New York Times reports.

Anderson—whose perfectionism earned him the nickname "Grumpy Bob"—worked on movies including the Lord of the Rings trilogy, From Russia With Love, the Zorro series, The Princess Bride, and the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. But his most famous work was in the original Star Wars trilogy. He played a behind-the-scenes role in the first film, but appeared as Darth Vader for the epic light-saber duels in the next two. The fact that Anderson was in the Vader costume for the duels was a secret until Mark Hamill disclosed it in an interview."I didn’t think it was fair any more,” Hamill said. “Bob worked so bloody hard that he deserves some recognition." (Read more Hollywood stories.)

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