Swordsman Bob Anderson Dies

Swordsman Bob Anderson Dies

London : United Kingdom | Jan 04, 2012 at 12:38 AM PST
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Movie sword-fight master Bob Anderson dies at 89

The man “Star Wars” fans know as Darth Vader is actually three different men. The man in the suit was David Prowse, the voice was actor James Earl Jones, and the master light sabre and swordsman was Bob Anderson, at least in Episodes five and six of the series..

Anderson died early New Year’s Day at a hospital in West Sussex, England at the age of 89.

Long before he lent his master sword arm to film, Anderson was an Olympic and master fencer. He competed in the World Championships in 1950 and 1953 and the 1952 Olympics representing Great Britain.

Anderson’s role in the “Star Wars” movies was intended to be kept a secret, but fellow actor Mark Hamill let it out saying that Anderson worked so hard on “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi” that he deserved the recognition. Anderson was 60 years of age at the time.

One of the most sought after men in Hollywood, Anderson has worked on James Bond and Zorro films – “From Russia with Love”, “Die Another Day”, “The Mask of Zorro”, and “The Legend of Zorro” – during his career of some seven decades. Anderson’s first film work was in 1952 coaching Errol Flynn in “The Master of Ballentrae”; from there he went on to lend his mastery and knowledge to the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, the first of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies, “The Princess Bride”, 28 episodes of the “Highlander” television series, “Superman II”, the 1967 version of “Casino Royale”, and “The Guns of Navarone”.

He was born Robert James Gilbert Anderson on September 15, 1922 in Hampshire, England. Anderson began fencing as a very young lad. He joined the Royal Marines where he taught fencing; winning a number of titles along the way. After leaving the service, Anderson coached the British National fencing team and a technical director for the Canadian Fencing Association.

Bob Anderson is survived by his wife Pearl, three children, and grandchildren.

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England's James Anderson
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