R2-D2 portrayer Kenny Baker dies; George Lucas, Mark Hamill remember ‘Star Wars’ icon

NEW YORK, Aug. 13 (UPI) — British actor Kenny Baker, best known for his portrayal of the beloved droid R2-D2 in the first six Star Wars movies, died Saturday. He was 81.

The New York Daily News and The Hollywood Reporter confirmed the death of the film icon, who stood 3-foot-8 and wore a robot suit for his most famous role.

Baker served as a consultant on the latest installment in the franchise Star Wars: The Force Awakens and made it to a screening of the film in London, but was too ill to travel for its Los Angeles premiere last December.

His other film credits include Time Bandits, Flash Gordon and The Elephant Man.

Star Wars creator George Lucas remembered Baker as a “real gentleman” and “incredible trooper.”

“Goodbye #KennyBaker A lifelong loyal friend-I loved his optimism determination He WAS the droid I was looking for!” said Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker, in the sci-fi adventures.

“Today we lost a dear friend. We’ll miss you, Kenny Baker,” Star Wars tweeted.

“Rest in peace, Kenny Baker, the heart and soul of R2-D2,” the 20th Century Fox Twitter account said..

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