From 007 to Hobbits, Bob Anderson’s life as a stunt choreographer for the movies was long and impressive. An English fencer and swordsman, Anderson’s career included showing everyone from Errol Flynn to Antonio Banderas how to handle a blade. Notably, he even stood in for David Prowse for many of the fight sequences featuring Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy.
In 1983 interview Mark Hamill commented on Anderson’s contributions to the films:
“It was always supposed to be a secret, but I finally told George (Lucas) I didn’t think it was fair any more. Bob worked so bloody hard that he deserves some recognition.”
Anderson was born Robert James Gilbert Anderson in 1922 and claims he never “took up the sword” but rather “the sword took me up.” In addition to Star Wars a sampling of films he worked on include The Master of Ballantrae, From Russia With Love, The Princess Bride, The Mask of Zorro, and all three Lord of the Rings films. Anderson was much respected by his colleagues and loved by his family and friends. His wife Pearl and three children survive him. It seems we owe Anderson much of the swashbuckling adventures of the past century. Thanks Bob, we’ll miss you.
[news via ESPN Fencing]