Bond sword master Bob Anderson dies aged 89

Bond News - 01-01-12
Olympic fencer, movie stunt coordinator and sword master Bob Anderson has died at the age of 89.

His career in film began after competing in the Olympics for Great Britain, when he was called up to help out on Errol Flynn's "Master of Balantree" after the competition. Over the years he became the most legendary of sword-fight trainers/choreographers, having trained everyone from Errol Flynn to the cast of the "Lord of the Rings" film trilogy.

2002's "Die Another Day" saw James Bond and Sir Gustav Graves settle a bet in Blades Club, and it was Anderson who was sword master on the stunt sequence. He also supervised the training of the actors, including Rosamund Pike who played Olympic fencing champion Miranda Frost.

But that was not his only brush with Bond. Way back in 1963, he was was an uncredited stunt coordinator on the second film in the series, "From Russia With Love". He also performed the same duties on the spoof version of "Casino Royale" in 1967.

He is perhaps most famous for doubling David Prowse during Darth Vader's light saber duels in "Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back" (1980) and "Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi" (1983), despite having been six inches shorter than Prowse and required to wear lifts.

Robert James Gilbert Anderson was born in Hampshire, southern England, in 1922. He died early New Year's Day 2012 at a hospital in England. He is survived by his wife Pearl and three children.

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Earlier Story: UK TV - 'Die Another Day' on ITV1, Monday night

Later Story: Ralph Fiennes reveals a little about his 'Skyfall' character

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