Bob Anderson – RIP 1922 – 2012

The man behind some of the best sword fights in cinema, has died aged 89. Anderson is survived by his wife and three children.

Anderson was a former Olympic sword fighter who represented Britain in Fencing at the 1952 Olympics. The same year he coached Errol Flynn on the swashbuckling film The Master of Ballintrae. Anderson went on to be credited as fencing coach on The Moonraker (1958), Fight Arranger on Don’t Lose Your Head (1966) before earning the title Sword Master on Highlander (1986). 

Perhaps Anderson’s most famous contribution to cinema was his work on Star wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977). Although his work wasn’t credited on the film or acknowledged until the early 1980s, Anderson was actually the man in Darth Vader’s helmet and he fought light saber battles in two of the three original Star Wars films. It was Mark Hamill who finally revealed the secret, after telling George Lucas that Anderson deserved some recognition for his work.

Anderson then became one of the film industry’s most sought after sword masters and worked on The Princess Bride (1987), Die Another Day (2002) and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Anderson’s final work was on The Hobbit, which is due for release this year.

Bob Anderson died on New Year’s Day, in a hospital in England.

Check out the iconic battle between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi.

Words – Brogen Hayes