We all know and love him and the brave droid from the Star Wars films, but underneath that hunk of bleeps and bloops was a man named Kenny Baker. The 3 feet 8 inches tall actor played the character throughout the original trilogy, as well as portraying him in the prequels that spanned from 1999 to 2005. Apart from that, he also appeared in The Elephant Man, Flash Gordon and The Goonies among others.
Sadly, the Guardian has confirmed that Baker has passed away at the age of 83. It had been known that the actor was suffering from lung problems that had him in a wheelchair most of the time. When asked to attend to the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in late 2015, Baker had to decline since he was too ill to travel to LA. His wife, Eileen Baker, succumbed to epilepsy some 20 years ago.
Kenny Baker’s niece, Abigail Shield, made the following statement: “It was expected, but it’s sad nonetheless. He had a very long and fulfilled life. He brought lots of happiness to people and we’ll be celebrating the fact that he was well loved throughout the world. We’re all very proud of what he achieved in his lifetime.”
Our hearts go out to this brilliant man who managed to take what other may see as a flaw and turned it into a talent, immortalizing him as R2-D2 in the ever-beloved Star Wars movie series. Furthermore, we would like to express our condolences towards his friends, family and loved ones. May the Force forever be with him.
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