Star Wars Scum and Villainy

Star Wars make-up artist Stuart Freeborn dies aged 98

Legendary British make-up artist Stuart Freeborn has died at the age of 98.

Legendary British make-up artist Stuart Freeborn has died at the age of 98.

Most famous for his work on the original 'Star Wars' trilogy, he also worked on the Christopher Reeve 'Superman' films and '2001: A Space Odyssey'.

He will be best remembered for being the man behind the design of iconic Jedi Master Yoda, whom he based on the looks of Albert Einstein and himself.

[Related story: First 'Star Wars' spin-offs to star Han Solo and Boba Fett]
[Related story: Why the old 'Star Wars' cast should stay away from the new trilogy]

Wookie work... Stuart and preparing Chewbacca costume for actor Peter Mayhew (Credit: Collider)
Paying tribute to Freeborn 'Star Wars' creator George Lucas said, "He brought with him not only decades of experience, but boundless creative energy. His artistry and craftsmanship will live on forever in the characters he created.

"His Star Wars creatures may be reinterpreted in new forms by new generations, but at their heart, they continue to be what Stuart created for the original films."

Lucas added that Freeborn was "a make-up legend" before he even began working with him in the late seventies.

Born in east London, he began his career at Denham studios in the 1930s, before finding notable success working on the make-up Alec Guinness used as Fagin in the 1948 screen version of 'Oliver Twist'.

In the sixties he worked on Stanley Kubrick's 'Doctor Strangelove', designing three of the different looks sported by Peter Sellers, who famously played multiple characters in the Cold War satire.

He would later work on the iconic opening scene of Kubrick's '2001: A Space Odyssey' before moving on to the 'Star Wars' series, where he helped create the looks for Chewbacca, Jabba The Hutt and Yoda.

[Related link: Buy all the Star Wars films on DVD and Blu-ray]