Tony Dyson

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Tony Dyson
Tony Dyson 2015.png
Anthony John Dyson

(1947-04-13)13 April 1947
Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, England
Died4 March 2016(2016-03-04) (aged 68)
OccupationSpecial effects designer
Known forCreating R2-D2 in Star Wars
Notable work
Star Wars
Superman II
James Bond
Saturn 3
Dragon Slayer
Altered States
Orianna (divorced)
ChildrenJonathan callard

Anthony John "Tony" Dyson (13 April 1947 – 4 March 2016) was a British SPFX designer, best-known for building the R2-D2 droid model used in the Star Wars film series.


Born in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire he visited the private Stratton House School in Abingdon.

He started special effects studio The White Horse Toy Company. He was commissioned to fabricate the design of R2-D2 making eight units, six were operated by remote control. Two were used by Kenny Baker, and two were stunt double models made for the scene where the droid was shot from the swamp onto the shore on Dagobah. Dyson also created robotics and props for Superman II, Moonraker, and Dragonslayer.[1] He also worked on Saturn 3.[2]

In the 1990s, he moved to Malta and founded Turn Page Studios in St. Paul's Bay. He died on the island of Gozo.[3][4]


Dyson was knighted in the Byzantine Order of the Holy Sepulchre for promoting philanthropic, cultural and ecumenical activities.

In 1985, he was nominated for an Emmy Award for a Sony commercial featuring a John Cleese look-alike robot.

In 2013 he was honored with the title of Honorary Professor MBA in multimedia for the Stichting Euregio University in the Netherlands.


  1. ^ "Star Wars: R2-D2 original builder Tony Dyson dies - BBC News". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
  2. ^ "Tony Dyson Dead: 'Star Wars' R2-D2 Builder Was 68". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
  3. ^ Stack, Liam (2016-03-05). "Tony Dyson, Who Brought R2-D2 to Rolling, Beeping Life, Dies at 68". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
  4. ^ Ltd, Allied Newspapers. "Tony Dyson, man behind Star Wars robot R2-D2, found dead in Gozo". Times of Malta. Retrieved 2016-03-05.

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