Kenny Baker, R2-D2’s human side, dies at 81

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Kenny Baker
Kenny Baker

Kenny Baker, the actor who brought the heroic and cantankerous droid R2-D2 to life in the first six Star Wars movies and consulted on Episode VII — The Force Awakens, has died.

According to the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper, Baker was 81 and had been ill for some time.

The 3-foot-8-inch-tall performer also appeared in films such as Flash Gordon, The Elephant Man, Time Bandits, Amadeus, Labyrinth and Willow, so a generation who grew up watching both genre adventure epics and mainstream dramatic films came to know his face.

That makes him a giant in my book.

Luca Zampriolo kenny baker sandwich art

In 2015, Nerdvana’s Bob Leeper took the above photo of art by Luca Zampriolo at the Sideshow Collectibles “R2-Me2” exhibit at San Diego Comic-Con International. It’s based on a classic image of the actor taking a break from Star Wars filming to enjoy a sandwich:

Kenny Baker eating a sandwich during a break from filming Star Wars as R2-D2

Remembrances for Kenny Baker:

Share yours in the comments.

Co-stars remember:

Lucasfilm remembers:

Despite a long illness, Baker continued meeting with fans as recently as late July:

Correction: Baker was 81, not 83, when he died.

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About Jayson Peters

Nerdvana's founder and owner. Digital editor, social media director, educator. Lifelong Star Wars fan and Trekker who also worships all things Tolkien and Doctor Who.