Taking Names: Jackman show sets records on the Great White Way

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The two-time Oscar winner will be honored at a screening of her latest movie, “The Iron Lady,” in which she plays former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

The festival also will screen older Streep films, including “Kramer vs. Kramer” and “Sophie’s Choice.”

The Berlin event, the first of the year’s major European film festivals, takes place Feb. 9 through 19.

Movie sword master, Vader stand-in dies at age 89

Olympic fencer and movie sword master Bob Anderson appeared in some of film’s most famous dueling scenes - though few viewers knew it.

According to the Associated Press, Anderson, who has died at age 89, donned Darth Vader’s black helmet and fought light saber battles in two of the three original “Star Wars” films, “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi.”

Anderson, who worked with actors from Errol Flynn to Antonio Banderas during five decades as a sword master, fight director and stunt performer, died early New Year’s Day at an English hospital, the British Academy of Fencing said Monday.

Vader, “Star Wars”’ intergalactic arch-villain, was voiced by James Earl Jones and played by 6-foot, 6-inch former weightlifter David Prowse, but Anderson stepped in during the key fight scenes.

“David Prowse wasn’t very good with a sword and Bob couldn’t get him to do the moves,” said Anderson’s former assistant, Leon Hill. “Fortunately Bob could just don the costume and do it himself.”

The scenes worked beautifully, although Anderson, then nearing 60, was several inches shorter than Mr. Prowse.

Few knew of Anderson’s role until Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker, said in a 1983 interview that “Bob Anderson was the man who actually did Vader’s fighting.”

“It was always supposed to be a secret, but I finally told [director] George [Lucas] I didn’t think it was fair any more,” Mr. Hamill told Starlog magazine. “Bob worked so bloody hard that he deserves some recognition. It’s ridiculous to preserve the myth that it’s all done by one man.”

British artists argue over use of assistants

Two of Britain’s art superstars are squabbling about whether it’s acceptable to use assistants to create works of art, the Associated Press reports.

The argument pits painter David Hockney, just awarded Britain’s prestigious Order of Merit, against conceptual artist Damien Hirst.

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