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Fencing Master To The Stars Dies After Brief Illness

January 30, 1987

BURBANK, Calif. (AP) _ Ralph B. Faulkner, who taught stars from Errol Flynn to Bo Derek how to fence on film, has died after a brief illness. He was 95.

Faulkner, who worked until he bacame ill three weeks ago, died Wednesday at St. Joseph Medical Center.

For more than 50 years, Faulkner was known as ″the fencing master to the stars,″ working on more than 100 movies, television shows, stage plays and commercials.

He added realism to such movies as ″Captain Blood,″ ″The Prisoner of Zenda,″ ″The Sea Hawk″ and ″The Court Jester.″

Errol Flynn, Ronald Colman, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Basil Rathbone, Louis Hayward, Danny Kaye, Cornel Wilde and Tony Curtis were among his students.

More recent graduates included Richard Thomas, Robert Hays, Harry Hamlin and Bo Derek.

Faulkner learned to fence only to strengthen a knee that was severely injured while he worked on a silent movie in the 1920s. He became a leading amateur swordsmen and in 1928 won the World Amateur Sabre Championship in France. He competed for the U.S. Olympic teams in 1928 and 1932.

As a professional fencing master, he coached national and Olympic ranked fencers.

Faulker and his late wife, Edith Jane, founded Falcon Studios in 1929. Among those who attended the school were Alexis Smith, Ken Berry, Nanette Fabray, Sheree North, Anita Louise, Johnny Crawford and Barbara Parkins.

He is survived by his sister, Olivetta Faulkner, of Cosmopolis, Wash.

Memorial services were scheduled for Friday night in Hollywood Hills.