We were devastated to learn via the BBC that actor Kenny Baker has passed away today after a long illness, just short of his 82nd birthday.
Baker was the man who brought R2-D2 to life, working inside the costume in the first six Star Wars movies and consulting in The Force Awakens. He also appeared in a number of other films, including an old favorite, Time Bandits, as Fidget.
Baker had been cared for by his nephew Drew Myerscough for a number of years, after he had developed respiratory issues, although this did not stop him from making appearances. One of the first actors willing to make appearances at conventions, he was scheduled for his only U.S. appearance later this year at Rhode Island Comic Con. His nephew said, “His fans worldwide kept him going and he loved nothing more than going to conventions and meeting everybody – it really gave him that extra lease of life.”