Thursday, 18 August 2016

In Memory of Kenny Baker (1934-2016)

Kenny Baker (1934-2016)

Hello, movie bloggers, as you were all quite familiar with the character of R2D2 in the 'Star Wars' series that became one of the iconic robots in film. The man who is inside the little astromech droid, English actor Kenny Baker has recently died of a long illness two weeks short of his 82nd birthday at August 13th 2016. 

Baker was raised and educated in Birningham, Warwickshire and stood three feet and eight inches tall (112 cm) as a result of his condition of dwarfism that stunts his growth. This has made him to be a part of a theatrical troupe of midgets and dwarves and later for a brief time he performed at the circus. In 1976 while doing a successful comedy act with fellow dwarf entertainer Jack Purvis, director George Lucas hired him to operate the droid R2D2 in his soon to be famous epic space adventure 'Star Wars'. This role would became synonymous for him to play the character once more in two more instalments in 1980 to 1983 and followed by the prequels in 1999 to 2005. In addition of portraying R2, Kenny also portrayed one of the Ewoks in 'Return of the Jedi'

Kenny had starred in other movies that were outside of his known league in 'Star Wars' including 'Flash Gordon', 'The Elephant Man', 'Time Bandits', 'Amadeus' and the other George Lucas film productions such as 'Labyrinth' and 'Willow'. In 2015, after ten years he continued his association with the character and acted only as a consultant in 'The Force Awakens'. At the time of his death, his role of R2 has now been taken over by Jimmy Vee which is yet to appear in the upcoming Episode VIII.

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