Kenny Baker, The Man Inside R2-D2, Has Died
May the force be with him.
BY Peter Wade | Aug 14, 2016 | Film & TV
Kenny Baker, the actor who played the beloved droid R2-D2 in the Star Wars films has passed away at age 81. Baker was found dead Saturday at his home in Preston, England by his nephew and caretaker Drew Myerscough.
Myerscough told Sky News that Baker had suffered years of breathing problems, "which he had borne very bravely." He said the affection of "Star Wars" fans around the world "kept him going, without any doubt."
"He was amazed that, even after 30-odd years, the fans still basically adored him," Myerscough said.
Baker appeared as R2-D2 in the three original Star Wars movies as well as the three prequels. He was chosen because only a person of small stature could fit in the costume, and child labour laws did not allow children to work long hours.
Although he did not voice the character, who communicated in beeps and boops, "I worked the levers," Baker told the AP.
Baker got his start in entertainment at age 16, performing with a troupe called "Burton Lester's Midgets" before working as a DJ and circus clown.
He also acted in other films, including Time Bandits, Willow, Labyrinth, The Goonies, Flash Gordon and The Elephant Man.
Actors from the Star Wars films—both old and new—took to Twitter to mourn his passing. As did the rest of Hollywood.
So sorry to hear about this. It was lovely working with Kenny. Kenny Baker, Star Wars R2-D2 actor, dies aged 81 https://t.co/9HW6f3MWZl— Ewan McGregor (@mcgregor_ewan) August 13, 2016
So sad to hear one of my dearest friends passed away. Rest in peace Kenny Baker. Love you. Will miss you! pic.twitter.com/FosdwNysGk— Daniel Logan (@Daniel_Logan) August 13, 2016
You brought life to one of my favourite characters, thank you Kenny Baker. Rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/9L53J5rN17— Rahul Kohli (@RahulKohli13) August 13, 2016
Rest in peace, Kenny Baker, the heart and soul of R2-D2. pic.twitter.com/NqOpxotxyK— 20th Century Fox (@20thcenturyfox) August 13, 2016
Additional reporting from The Associated Press.
From: Esquire US.