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Fencing master Colbin dies at 83

Actor taught Brando, Dean how to duel

Rod Colbin, who served as Katharine Hepburn’s personal masseur and taught Marlon Brando and James Dean how to fence, died Feb. 4 in Denver, Colo. after a series of strokes. He was 83.

Colbin won a Christian Academy Award for the best actor for his lead role in “John Hus” in 1977. He appeared in numerous TV shows including “Three’s Company,” “Barney Miller,” “The Jeffersons,” “Charlie’s Angels,” “Quincy M.E.” and “Little House on the Prairie.”

Colbin also appeared in films including “Yes, Giorgio,” “The Gumball Rally,” “Frances” and “Frankenstein’s Aunt Tillie.”

He was a fencing master and one of the founding members of the Society of American Fight Directors. He taught thesps including Jimmy Durante, Brando and Dean how to make their screen duels believable. On stage, he put his fencing talents to use in productions such as “Cyrano de Bergerac” and his own show, “Swordplay.”

He is survived by two daughters. two grandchildren and two sisters.

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