How the “Mother of Yoda” was found #StarWars @inversedotcom
You might not recognize the name Wendy Froud (née Midener), but in the practical effects world, she’s a legend. Renowned in film and television as a pioneer in puppetry, Froud was sought out by directors like Jim Henson early in her career and created countless iconic TV and movie creatures. Yet she remains an obscure name rarely credited accurately on film sites or IMDb.
Despite what history may tell you,this long-haired, aetherial puppeteer with a Fleetwood Mac aesthetic played a crucial role in the birth of animatronics, providing the puppet design for groundbreaking films The Empire Strikes Back, The Dark Crystal, and Labyrinth. A Froud original can go for $4,500, and her work even earned her one of pop culture’s greatest monikers: the Mother of Yoda.
But in 1988, at the height of Froud’s career, the woman who made some of the world’s most beloved puppets seemingly vanished. Uncovering the truth behind her rise and fall would require tracking down a woman who’s stayed out of the public eye for 30 years, but her story says more about the hidden history of practical effects than it does about one woman’s time in Hollywood.
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