Kenny Baker, The Man Who Brought R2-D2 To Life, Has Died At 81

He worked in a circus and in a pantomime and ice show before getting his break in the blockbuster "Star Wars" film in 1977.
Posted at 2:47 PM, Aug 13, 2016

"This is madness," C-3PO said.

R2-D2 beeps back.

The man responsible for bringing R2-D2 to life has died.

Kenny Baker starred in six "Star Wars" films ranging from the first movie in 1977 to "Episode III – Revenge of the Sith" in 2005.

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While he's likely best remembered for playing R2-D2, Baker also appeared in the 1980 film "Flash Gordon" and 1981's "Time Bandits."

He was born in Birmingham in the United Kingdom in 1934. According to his website, Baker became a performer when he was 16 years old and went on to star in a circus and pantomime and ice shows before he created a musical comedy act.

He got his big break in the 1977 classic "Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope." Like many at the time, the sub-4-foot-tall actor didn't realize hopping into a robot would immortalize him forever.

"I made 20 movies altogether roughly, so it was just another film for me," Baker told the BBC. "Not very comfortable."

Baker's footprints — or at least R2-D2's — are immortalized on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

His wife, Eileen Baker, starred in "Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi." She died in 1993.

Kenny Baker reportedly battled a long illness. He was 81.