Stuart Freeborn, the makeup man who created some of today's most beloved film characters including Yoda from "Star Wars" has died at the age of 98. Yahoo News reported on Wednesday, Feb. 6 that LucasFilm confirmed that Freeborn had passed away, "leaving a legacy of unforgettable contributions." It did not provide additional details on Freeborn's death.
George Lucas the director of the popular "Star Wars"films said in a statement that Stuart Freeborn was "a makeup legend" whose artistry will live on forever.
Best known for his "Star Wars," character make up creations such as the Jedi knight Yoda, the green figure whose features were partly inspired by Albert Einstein and partly by Freeborn himself, and the 7-foot-tall wookie Chewbacca.
Born in 1914 in London, England, his earliest work in the film industry was designing the hair and make-up worn by Alec Guinness, while at Denham Studios as Fagin in Oliver Twist.
Freeborn's most famous work is creating the make-up for all of the characters in the Star Wars trilogy, including Chewbacca and Yoda, he supposedly based Yoda on his own face and that of Albert Einstein. He supervised the design of the original Jabba the Hutt puppet used in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, which required room for up to three puppeters to operate at the same time.
Working at times closely with his family,his wife Kay assisted her husband on several occasions; their son Graham was also a prolific make-up artist before his death in 1986. Freeborn's wife, Kay, died in 2012. Freeborn's three sons – Roger, Ray and Graham – also died before him.
In addition to Michelle, Freeborn is survived by six grandchildren and a number of great-grandchildren.
Who was your favorite Stuart Freeborn "Star Wars" character?