Yoda makeup artist Stuart Freeborn dies at 98

    8:36 AM, Feb 7, 2013   |    comments
    A model of Yoda on display at The O2 Arena ahead of the World Premiere of 'Star Wars: A Musical Journey' at The O2 Arena on April 8, 2009 in London, England. The show will play for two days only, on the 10th and 11th April before launching its European Tour. (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)
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    LONDON (AP) - Stuart Freeborn, a pioneering movie makeup artist who created creatures for "2001: A Space Odyssey" and the "Star Wars" films, has died. He was 98.

    LucasFilm said Wednesday that Freeborn had passed away, "leaving a legacy of unforgettable contributions." It did not provide additional details on Freeborn's death.

    "Star Wars" director George Lucas said in a statement that Freeborn was "a makeup legend" whose artistry will live on forever.

    For "Star Wars," Freeborn helped create wise Jedi knight Yoda - a diminutive green figure whose features were partly inspired by Albert Einstein and partly by Freeborn himself - and 7-foot-tall wookie Chewbacca.

    During a six-decade career, Freeborn also designed the apes in a memorable sequence of Stanley Kubrick's space epic "2001."

    (Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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