Kenny Baker, the man who brought R2-D2 to life in the original Star Wars movies and prequels, has died aged 81.
The 3ft 8in tall actor appeared in films like The Time Bandits The Elephant Man and Flash Gordon but will always be most well know for the little droid. He had reportedly been ill for some time and, speaking to The Guardian, his niece Abigail Shield said “It was expected, but it’s sad nonetheless" adding, "he had a very long and fulfilled life".
While he had remained active on the convention circuit until recently he attended the London premier of The Force Awakens after illness prevented him from traveling to LA. This year it was revealed that actor Jimmy Vee would take his place in the upcoming Star Wars 8.
Goodbye #KennyBaker A lifelong loyal friend-I loved his optimism & determination He WAS the droid I was looking for! pic.twitter.com/rd94OEYaHiAugust 13, 2016
Very sorry to hear about Kenny. He was a great personal friend that I thoroughly enjoyed working with. #KennyBaker pic.twitter.com/z6mwhrZOi0August 13, 2016
pic.twitter.com/I5FpQWEvK4August 13, 2016
Rest in peace, Kenny Baker, the heart and soul of R2-D2. pic.twitter.com/NqOpxotxyKAugust 13, 2016
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/9HW6f3MWZlAugust 13, 2016
RIP R2D2. Farewell Fidget, Time Bandit. Goodbye Mister Kenny Baker. pic.twitter.com/wuiQuCH7g6August 13, 2016
He may have been a droid, but the force was always strong with #KennyBaker Thank you, R2!August 13, 2016