Aw, this is sad news.
Kenny Baker, the actor who played R2-D2 in the Star Wars films, died at the age of 81 after a long illness but a very fulfilled life, so sad, but also, happy.
The 3ft 8in tall British actor shot to fame in 1977 when he first played the robot character, and went on to play the character in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi as well as the three Star Wars prequels from 1999 to 2005. But not only that, he also acted in The Elephant Man, Time Bandits and Flash Gordon. Pretty good career for such a specific actor.
His niece, Abigail Shield, paid tribute to her uncle. She told the Guardian: “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.”
Baker and Shield’s father, Ian, grew up in Birmingham. She said: “When he was a child, he was told that he probably wouldn’t survive through puberty, being a little person in those times, they didn’t have a very good life expectancy. He did extremely well in his life. He was very ill for the last few years so we had been expecting it. He had been looked after by one of his nephews, who found him on Saturday morning.”
Shield added: “He had problems with his lungs and was often in a wheelchair. He was very poorly for a long time. He was asked to go out to LA for the new Star Wars premiere, but he was told he was too ill to travel. Luckily he did manage to meet George Lucas again when he came to Manchester.”
(Via The Guardian)
Surely, the franchise will not be the same. Miss you, Kenny!