(NEW YORK) — Actor Kenny Baker, best known for playing R2-D2 in six Star Wars movies, beginning with the 1977 original, has died at age 81 after a long illness, ABC News has confirmed.
Baker’s agent, Johnny Mans, said Baker was found dead Saturday morning by his nephew. “Kenny was truly a great friend, one of the nicest guys you could ever wish to meet and a fabulous and talented performer,” Mans told ABC News. “My wife and family will miss him terribly, and I will never forget the laughs we shared over the years. He was a one-off. There will never be another Kenny Baker.”
Baker, who was three-feet eight-inches tall, performed as R2-D2 in scenes where the ‘droid was required to show more animation -– in other scenes, the robot was unmanned and remote-controlled. He played R2-D2 beginning with 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope, through 2005’s Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith.
Baker also starred in the 1981 Terry Gilliam movie Time Bandits, and appeared in other films including The Elephant Man, Amadeus, and Willow.
In recent years, Baker was confined to a wheelchair due to his health.
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