Jan. 3rd, 2012

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Sword master Bob Anderson has died at the age of 89.

Some of you may not realize the contribution that he's made to your world. But if you appreciate the weapons work in Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Wars, The Princess Bride, The Mask of Zorro, almost every Three Musketeers movies ever made, you've benefited from the mastery of Bob Anderson.

His work started in The Adventures of Robin Hood, where he worked with Errol Flynn, and he taught swordmanship to generations of actors. Many times his work was uncredited by the film's makers, but the people he taught spoke of him with great affection. He taught these actors to be comfortable with the blade, and he assisted in choreographing the epic fights that fill our movie memories.

He worked mostly behind the scenes (and thank goodness for the behind-the-scenes documentaries that finally introduced us to him), but also served as stunt double for a number of fight scenes, most notably at Darth Vader in the Star Wars Original Trilogy. Everything epic about those battles was Bob Anderson's work.

So farewell to one of films undersung heroes.

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