Yesterday was a sad day for Star Wars fans. Actor Kenny Baker, best known for his portrayal of R2D2 in the Star Wars Original Trilogy and the three Prequels, has passed away after a long illness. Baker died on August 13th, 2016 in England at 81 years of age. RIP Kenny, you will be missed.
Dwarfism Didn’t Stop Kenny Baker!
Baker was born with Dwarfism making him a perfect size at only 3ft 8in (or 1.12m) tall, to fit inside the droid casing and bring R2D2 to life with personality plus. He used this to his advantage finding many opportunities to shine a positive light on something others might see as a disadvantage.
Born To Be A Star Now He’s Our Shooting Star
Baker, born on August 24th,1934 departed this world only days before his 82nd birthday. As an actor he was a credit to the industry. Born in Birmingham, England, Kenny was married to his wife, Eileen, who passed away from Epilepsy around 20 years prior to Kenny, and the couple had 2 children whom of which neither inherited it their dwarfism. Kenny was ill for quite some time with lung issues and apparently resorted to using a wheelchair sometimes.
60 Years In Show Biz
According to The Guardian, Kenny became famous due to his role of R2D2 back in 1977. He started his 60 year show business career as part of a theatrical troupe of dwarfs and midgets, joined a circus, learned to ice skate and performed as such and did some stand up comedy also, prior to becoming the person behind our much loved R2D2.
Look For Paploo Next Time You Are Watching Star Wars – Return of The Jedi .
Aside from Star Wars movies, he also appeared as Fidgit in the Time Bandits. He apparently had a role in Flash Gordon, Willow, Labyrinth, Amadeus and played the character the Plumed Dwarf in The Elephant Man. He is lesser known as playing the Ewok Paploo who stole the Imperial speeder bike in The Return Of The Jedi.
“Actor Kenny Baker Dies”, was not a headline I enjoyed reading, but if he was suffering over a long period of time, then I am glad that he is no longer in any pain. Thank you Kenny, you were a wonderful actor, making R2D2 seem like a real robot and not just a man in a tin suit. You brought him to life, which was a difficult task considering his speech consists of tweets and whistles and there isn’t much room for body language. But you did just fine. A proper little person that droid has become. May you rest in peace.
Thank you for reading. If you have any special memories or pictures of Kenny Baker, please share them here in the comments below.
Kenny Baker in car on parade image was kindly provided by Matt Stroshane and shared under the following license.
Other images are taken from my own media.