If you had seen Bob Anderson’s face, you might not have recognized it. Where he may not be the most recognizable face in Hollywood, his work is some of the most memorable of all time. Bob Anderson was the man behind the light saber…Darth Vader’s light saber. While everyone knows that James Earl Jones voiced Darth Vader and David Prowse wore the cape and helmet, what isn’t known is that Bob Anderson donned the Darth Vader costume for light saber fights after it became apparent that no amount of coaching would help Prowse become proficient with a light saber.
Bob Anderson had a long career in Hollywood dating back to the days of Errol Flynn. For the most part, he choreographed sword fights. His work can be found in James Bond movies, The Princess Bride, the recent Zorro movies, 1993’s The Three Musketeers, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Pirates of the Caribbean, and more. According to imdb.com, Anderson was also working on Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit.
Outside of Hollywood, he represented Great Britain at the 1952 Olympics where he competed in fencing.
According to Philip Bruce, president of the British Academy of Fencing, Bob Anderson “passed away peacefully this morning at 4 a.m. in hospital.”
“He was truly one of our greatest fencing masters and a world-class film fight director and choreographer, and both the fencing community and film world will miss him,” said Bruce.