4 items from 2016
It’s a sad day for “Star Wars” fans and those who have worked on the franchise. Today, news broke that Kenny Baker, the actor who portrayed the beloved character R2-D2 in six films, had passed away after a long illness. The British actor rose to fame after taking on the role of the droid in 1977, and has since been a key factor in the “Star Wars” universe.
Upon heading the news of his passing, Mark Hamill tweeted a special message in remembrance of his dear co-star. “A lifelong loyal friend. I loved his optimism and determination. He Was the droid I was looking for!” he wrote, quoting “Star Wars.”
Goodbye #KennyBaker A lifelong loyal friend-i loved his optimism & determination He Was the droid I was looking for! pic.twitter.com/rd94OEYaHi
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) August 13, 2016
Read More: Kenny Baker, ‘Star Wars’ R2-D2 Actor, Dies at 81
Ewan McGregor, who »
- Liz Calvario
Earlier today it was reported that one of the original Star Wars actors has passed away. Kenny Baker, who was best known as the man inside R2-D2, succumbed to a lengthy illness at the age of 83. Since news of his death was announced by his niece Abigail Shield, many stars and filmmakers from the Star Wars universe have come forward to remember the man under the dome.
Mark Hamill was the first from the Star Wars camp to respond. The actor appeared in three movies with Kenny Baker, including the original 1977 Star Wars: A New Hope, 1980's Empire Strikes Back and 1983's Return of the Jedi. Hamill and Baker spent a lot of time together on set, especially during the Empire production. It was Luke Skywalker and R2-D2 who traveled alone to the planet of Dagobah to meet Master Jedi Yoda. And throughout the original trilogy, R2 was often seen as Luke's loyal companion. »
Kenny Baker, the man who gave physical presence to R2-D2, one of the most beloved robots in all of science-fiction, has died. According to Variety, Baker was 81, and had been suffering from chronic illnesses for some time.
Born in England, Baker worked for several years as a performer in circus acts, comedy troupes, and ice shows. During that period, he often collaborated with actor and performer Jack Purvis—who, like Baker, was of short stature—with the two eventually going on to work together on a number of projects, including Time Bandits, Willow, and the original Star Wars trilogy.
In 1976, Baker was hired by Star Wars director George Lucas, who needed someone to portray R2-D2 from within the film’s robot suit (constructed by toy designer Tony Dyson, who died earlier this year.) Although the production did have remote control versions of the character, they were prone to ...
- William Hughes
I'm saddened to report today that Star Wars actor Kenny Baker, best known for playing R2-D2, has passed away. The Guardian reported the actor "has died at the age of 81 after a long illness." [Update: The Guardian previously stated he was 83] Baker, who also played Paploo the Ewok in the Star Wars franchise, also had roles in Labyrinth, Time Bandits, and Flash Gordon. 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.” Baker's wife Eileen passed away in 1993, they had two children. R2-D2 was created by George Lucas, designed by Ralph McQuarrie, co-developed by John Stears, built by Tony Dyson, and had vocal effects from Ben Burtt. Baker was »
- Jill Pantozzi
4 items from 2016
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