School’s drive-in tribute for swashbuckling ex-pupil - who taught Johnny Depp and Mark Hamill how to use a sword
PUBLISHED: 16:13 30 July 2018 | UPDATED: 10:58 31 July 2018
A Suffolk school is hosting a drive-in movie festival in honour of a swashbuckling former pupil - who trained the likes of Errol Flynn, Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom in the art of the sword.
Bob Anderson attended Royal Hospital School, in Holbrook, as a youngster where he was trained to be a marine and later took up fencing.
A natural with a sword, Mr Anderson later represented Great Britain at the Helsinki Olympic Games and World Championships in 1950 and 1953 before becoming the president of the British Academy of Fencing.
And when Errol Flynn was asking around for someone to help train him with a sword, Mr Anderson’s friend, fencing craftsman Leon Paul, told him he knew just the guy.
It led to Mr Anderson becoming the number one sword fight choreographer in the movie business, working on blockbusters such as the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Mask of Zorro and the Princess Bride.
He even donned the iconic black costume of Star Wars villain Darth Vader for light sabre duels in the Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
Mr Anderson died in January 2012. From September 14 to 16, Royal Hospital School will be hosting a three-day open-air movie festival screening Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, a film which Mr Anderson had choreographed the fight scenes.
His daughter Simone Froud said her father ‘absolutely loved’ Suffolk and was delighted an event in his honour was being held at his old school.
“It was a marine training school back then so he was training to be a marine there,” she said.
“He started fencing in the marines where he excelled at it.
“Then he became swashbuckler number one.
“In 1952 Leon Paul said Errol Flynn has been in his fencing equipment shop in London.
“He said Errol Flynn has been in and wanted to find somebody to teach him how to swashbuckle.
“From then on he just got asked to do more and more amazing movies.
“The Darth Vader role was probably the most bizarre of them. He also showed Mark Hamill how to use a light sabre.”
For more information and to book tickets see here.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ipswich Star. Click the link in the yellow box below for details.