Kenny Baker the actor behind the cute R2D2 in six ‘Star Wars’ movies has sadly passed away. Baker who 83 was always a favourite at conventions and indeed a great ambassador for genre film and television having worked in both.
Baker’s contributions to science fiction cinema saw him take on roles in much loved movies such as ‘Time Bandits’ and ‘Flash Gordon’, but it is his role as the lovable droid R2D2 that truly established him as a big name in the genre.
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.”
Baker met his wife Eileen after an appearance on the Michael Parkinson TV chat show. Sadly Eileen who was also a little person passed away 20 years ago due to Epilepsy.
Apparently the actor had struggled with ill health in recent years due to issues with his lungs. Despite these issues he continued to contribute greatly to his work and to other people.
Kenny Baker was a much loved personality at science fiction and comic book conventions around the world and was always a hit with fans.
We here at SciFiPulse.net are saddened by the loss of such an iconic name in genre film and television and send our sincerest condolences to Kenny Baker’s friends and family.