The Film Doctor team send our love to the family, friends and spirit of Kenny Baker, the actor who played chirpy robot R2-D2 in Star Wars who has passed away aged 83.
Kenny also enjoyed roles in Time Bandits, The Goonies and Flash Gordon. The 3ft 8 inch actor became world famous when Star Wars was released in 1977.
He continued in the role of cheeky little droid R2-D2 in Empires Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and the three Star Wars prequels.
His niece, Abigail Shield, 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.
“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.”
Abigail explained: “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.”
RIP Kenny. You’re a large part of film history.