Sword Fight Choreographer Dies At 89

The late Bob Anderson helped to choreograph some of Hollywood's greatest sword fights — and even appeared on-screen himself as Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy. Melissa Block talks about the sword master who died on Sunday. He was 89.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Now, a moment to honor the late Bob Anderson. He fenced for Great Britain in the Olympics and for many years was the coach of the British National Fencing Team, but he's probably best remembered for his moves on the silver screen.

In Hollywood, Anderson was known as a sword master for his fight choreography in films such as "The Princess Bride."

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE PRINCESS BRIDE")

MANDY PATINKIN: (as Inigo Montoya) My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

BLOCK: Also, the "Lord of the Rings."

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "LORD OF THE RINGS")

BLOCK: And most famously, for his work on the original "Star Wars" trilogy.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "STAR WARS")

BLOCK: Bob Anderson even appeared on screen as Darth Vader in "The Empire Strikes Back" and "The Return of the Jedi." He wielded a light saber against Luke Skywalker, as played by Mark Hamill. The Darth Vader was voiced by James Earl Jones and played mostly by David Prowse, but the dark lord's light saber skills were all Anderson's, no force necessary.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "RETURN OF THE JEDI")

BLOCK: His part went uncredited until Mark Hamill said in a 1983 interview that Anderson deserved recognition. Credit or no, he was known throughout his career as a perfectionist. It earned him the nickname Grumpy Bob, and while Mr. Anderson's most memorable role was one of cinema's greatest villains, Darth Vader, we remember him today as a protagonist of spectacular fencing.

BOB ANDERSON: I'd always say that I never took up the sword. I think the sword took me up.

BLOCK: That's sword master, Bob Anderson. He died on Sunday at the age of 89.

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