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Bob Anderson, who played Darth Vader, dies 89

Bob Anderson (September 15, 1922 – January 1, 2012) was an English actor and fencer. Anderson also owns a claim to fame for being a swordfighting trainer for several films, as well as a stunt double for Darth Vader in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. He is one of seven people to have played that character. He was born in Hampshire.

Anderson did not receive much recognition for his role in the Star Wars films for years after their initial release, in part because David Prowse was so lauded for his portrayal that director George Lucas did not want to detract from the boost it gave the actor's career. In a 1983 interview, however, Mark Hamill paid homage to Anderson's contribution, saying: "Bob Anderson was the man who actually did Vader's fighting. It was always supposed to be a secret, but I finally told George I didn't think it was fair any more. 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."

As a competitive fencer, he represented Great Britain at the Olympic Games in 1952 and the World Championships in 1950 and 1953 in the sabre event. He finished tied for fifth in the team sabre event at Helsinki in 1952.

After his retirement from fencing competition, Anderson emigrated to Canada, where he went on to become technical director of the Canadian Fencing Association. Anderson died on New Year's Day 2012 in a West Sussex hospital. He was 89.

may the force be with you.

may the force be with you.

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