Stuart Freeborn on set, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Stuart Freeborn, the makeup artist who created such beloved Star Wars characters as Yoda, Chewbacca and Jabba the Hutt, died Tuesday in London, according to Lucasfilm. He was 98.
Born in London, Freeborn went on to design the hair and makeup on several films, as well as do puppetry work for creatures like Jabba the Hutt.
"Stuart was already a makeup legend when he started on Star Wars," George Lucas said in a statement. "He brought with him not only decades of experience, but boundless creative energy. His artistry and craftsmanship will live on forever in the characters he created. His Star Wars creatures may be reinterpreted in new forms by new generations, but at their heart, they continue to be what Stuart created for the original films."
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When Freeborn created the character of Yoda for The Empire Strikes Back, he modeled the creature's facial expressions after his own.
In addition to Star Wars, Freeborn also worked on 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Great Muppet Caper, The Omen and Dr. Strangelove.
Freeborn's wife, Kay, died in 2012 and his son, Graham, died in 1986.