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Stuart Freeborn, the man behind Yoda's makeup, was a pioneer in Hollywood

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Michelle Freeborn, who lives in Wellington, New Zealand, said her grandfather was "like a hero" to her and inspired her and her late father to get into the movie business, too.

"He was a really fun and imaginative individual." she said. "He gave you the feeling that if you wanted to achieve something, you should just get on and do it, and don't ever use excuses. He enjoyed life and the amazing world we live in."

Freeborn's six-decade career led him to work on many classics, including Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey."

Born in London in 1914, Freeborn was the son of a Lloyds of London insurance broker. He told a BBC documentary last year that he resisted pressure to follow in his father's footsteps, because "I felt I was different."

He began his film career in the 1930s, working for Hungarian-born director Alexander Korda, and honing his makeup skills on stars including Marlene Dietrich and Vivien Leigh.

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