Kenny Baker, the heart and soul of R2-D2 from Star Wars, passes away

Kenny Baker, who starred in six Star Wars films as well as Time Bandits and Flash Gordon, was 81

FP Staff August 15, 2016 13:14:31 IST
Kenny Baker, the heart and soul of R2-D2 from Star Wars, passes away

British actor Kenny Baker, who played the droid R2-D2 in the famous Star Wars films, died at the age of 81 after a long illness on 13 August 2016. Baker, who was only 3ft 8in tall, was suffering from a lung condition from the past few years.

Kenny Baker the heart and soul of R2D2 from Star Wars passes away

Image courtesy: Getty Images

After staring as the droid in the first Star Wars film in 1977, he reprised the role of the droid in other movies in the Star Wars franchise like The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, as well as the Star Wars prequel trilogy: Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom MenaceStar Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith.

His filmography also includes films like The Elephant Man, Time Bandits and Flash Gordon which made him a household name in the eighties. 

The Baker obituary on starwars.com included a quote from George Lucas, the director of the Star Wars franchise:

“Kenny Baker was a real gentleman as well as an incredible trooper who always worked hard under difficult circumstances. A talented vaudevillian who could always make everybody laugh, Kenny was truly the heart and soul of R2-D2 and will be missed by all his fans and everyone who knew him.”

Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars films, paid tribute to the star on Twitter.

The studio behind the original Star Wars films, 20th Century Fox, posted a still of R2-D2 and C-3PO on twitter:

Ewan McGregor, who played Obi-Wan Kenobi in the three Star Wars prequels, tweeted:

Actor Daniel Logan, who played Boba Fett in 2002's Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones, tweeted:

Baker was a consultant on the last Star Wars production - The Force Awakens - but British actor Jimmy Vee was already lined up to take on the role of R2-D2 in the next film, due for release in 2017.

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