Tue
Jan 3 2012 10:13am

Master Swordsman Bob Anderson: 1922-2012

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]

3 comments
David Thomson
1. ZetaStriker
I never realized a helmet-less Vader suit could l0ok that good.

Back on point though, this guy seems to have been a major contributor to how swordfights have been seen on film for pretty much the entirety of my life, so I have to respect his passing.
taiqiman
2. taiqiman
I think the man's impact is evident in his body of work. The main duel in Princess Bride alone is just so much fun to watch.

My empathy to his family.
taiqiman
3. akajill
I haven't seen it mentioned in the articles on him, but he also did a lot of work for Highlander, the movie and the TV series. I remember watching a interview with him as part of the DVD extras for one of the seasons of the TV series and thinking he was amazing for his ability and the length of his career.

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