Freeborn, makeup artist behind Yoda, dies at 98

Last Updated: Wed, Feb 06, 2013 21:15 hrs

Stuart Freeborn, a pioneering movie makeup artist who created creatures for "2001: A Spacey 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."

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