Farewell, R2D2: Tributes pour in after death of Star Wars actor Kenny Baker
The British actor, best known for his role as the iconic waste-bin-like robot R2D2 in six Star War films, died after a long illness.
Tributes have been pouring in from the acting world for the 3ft8 tall actor, described as the “heart and soul” of the droid.
Co-stars Mark Hamill and Ewan McGregor led the way in honoring the late actor.
So sorry to hear about this. It was lovely working with Kenny. Kenny Baker, Star Wars R2-D2 actor, dies aged 81 https://t.co/9HW6f3MWZl— Ewan McGregor (@mcgregor_ewan) August 13, 2016
So sad to hear one of my dearest friends passed away. Rest in peace Kenny Baker. Love you. Will miss you! pic.twitter.com/FosdwNysGk— Daniel Logan (@Daniel_Logan) August 13, 2016
RIP R2 D2 Kenny Baker.. Brought to life that kid in all of us! pic.twitter.com/cEXoFrEGVN— Martin Kemp (@realmartinkemp) August 13, 2016
You brought life to one of my favourite characters, thank you Kenny Baker. Rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/9L53J5rN17— Rahul Kohli (@RahulKohli13) August 13, 2016
Star Wars fans have also been getting nostalgic at the loss of the man behind a cult character many grew to love from the moment R2D2 was introduced to viewers in 1977.
Luke is idealistic, Leia brave, Han suave, was but deep down I suspect we all want to be R2D2. Bless you Kenny Baker pic.twitter.com/UMFGLhYcLh— Jared Petty (@pettycommajared) August 13, 2016
You were the astromech droid we were looking for.— Letterboxd (@letterboxd) August 13, 2016
Farewell, Kenny Baker. pic.twitter.com/FBA3eiHY5b
So long, Kenny Baker, and thanks. pic.twitter.com/5Ydp7SvoVy— Patch Zircher (@PatrickZircher) August 13, 2016
Very sad news: Kenny Baker, the actor who brought R2-D2 to life has passed away pic.twitter.com/sUsSqXNe2B— hmv (@hmvtweets) August 13, 2016
Baker’s death was confirmed by his nephew Drew Myerscough, who said the actor had suffered breathing problems for many years.
Birmingham-born Baker entered the world of performance at 16 as part of a troupe called "Burton Lester's Midgets."
He worked as a DJ, clown and comedian before putting on the cylindrical metallic costume that led him to the big time.
While the role had no lines and didn’t reveal Baker’s face it remains the character he is best remembered for. Baker also starred in Time Bandits, The Elephant Man and Flash Gordon.