Stuart Freeborn was a British make-up artist who worked on legendary films like 2001: Space Odyssey, Superman and The Bridge on the River Kwai. But arguably his most famous work is that for the Star Wars movies, for which he created and help create some of the most iconic creatures of the old trilogy, such as Chewbacca, Jabba the Hutt and of course Yoda.
LucasFilm said Irvin Kershner, who directed The Empire Strikes Back, would "note that Freeborn quite literally put himself into Yoda, as the Jedi master's inquisitive and mischievous elfin features had more than a passing resemblance to Freeborn himself". Yoda's looks were also said to be partly inspired by Albert Einstein.
Mr. Freeborn eventually became almost as old as Yoda, relatively speaking. He was 98. Rest in peace, good man!