Bob Anderson, who did Darth Vader’s fighting in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, has died at age 89.
Anderson’s work on the Star Wars films was originally supposed to be a secret, but Mark Hamill outted him in a 1983 interview.
“It was always supposed to be a secret, but I finally told (director) George (Lucas) I didn’t think it was fair any more,” Hamill told Starlog magazine. “Bob worked so bloody hard that he deserves some recognition. It’s ridiculous to preserve the myth that it’s all done by one man.”
An Olympic fencer for Great Britain in 1952, Anderson staged fights, coached actors and worked on stunts for dozens of movies, including Highlander, The Princess Bride, and the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
UPDATE: Hamill posted a dedication to Anderson on Twitter Tuesday afternoon:
Thinking of Bob Anderson- fencing master & my instructor. Thank you for your expertise, kindness & patience. I am eternally grateful to you!
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) January 3, 2012