Yoda And Chewie’s Makeup Artist, Stuart Freeborn, Passes Away

Stuart Freeborn

Amazingly enough Stuart Freeborn did his own makeup for his open casket wake.

London—Stuart Freeborn, the movie makeup artist famous for designing Yoda and Chewbacca in the “Star Wars” films, died. He was 98.

“Star Wars” director/franchise destroyer George Lucas said in a statement that Freeborn was “already a makeup legend” when Lucas convinced him to work on “Star Wars.” Shortly after releasing a statement about Freeborn, Lucas amended the statement adding Hayden Christensen for no apparent reason.

Michelle Freeborn, Freeborn’s granddaughter, confirmed his death Tuesday in London from natural causes.

Freeborn began his career in the 1930s, and served in the Royal Air Force service during World War II.

After the war, he returned to work in the British cinema and gained a name for himself thanks to his makeup work on “The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp” and “Oliver Twist,” before going on to work with Stanley Kubrik turning Peter Sellers into multiple characters for “Doctor Strangelove.” He again worked with Kubrik on “2001: A Space Odyssey,” where he designed the ape costumes at the beginning of the film.

Other films Freeborn worked on include “The Omen,” “Superman,” “Superman II,” “Superman III,” “RECOiL” and “Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.”

Freeborn’s wife, Kay, died in 2012. His three sons – Roger, Ray and Graham, died before he did.

In addition to Michelle, Freeborn is survived by seven grandchildren and a number of great-grandchildren.

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