Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Passing Of A Legend (Though You Probably Didn't Know It)

A moment of tremendous respect, please:

The man who wore Darth Vader's costume during the Dark Lord's epic light saber fights in two "Star Wars" movies has died at the age of 89.

Former British Olympic fencer Bob Anderson stepped in for Darth Vader actor Dave Prowse during fight scenes in "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return Of The Jedi." But the "Star Wars" movies were not his first experience with Hollywood. Not by a long shot.

Anderson first coached Hollywood legend Errol Flynn in fencing. He went on to teach scores of stars swordfighting, including Sean Connery and Johnny Depp. Anderson also directed swordfights in movies including "The Mask of Zorro," "The Princess Bride," and "The Lord Of The Rings" trilogy.

Anderson, who died on Sunday, got involved with movie-making after competing in the 1952 Olympics. He placed fifth for England in a team fencing competition.

I consider myself to be pretty knowledgeable on Star Wars stuff, but I had no idea he was inside the suit for the sword fights.  I thought David Prowse did it all.  Nevertheless, Bob Anderson clearly had a tremendous career on some major, major films.

Talent like his will be sorely missed, but his influence lives on in some of the biggest films in history.

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