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Kenny Baker

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Kenny Baker (August 24, 1934 - August 13, 2016) was a British actor best known as the man inside of R2-D2 in the Star Wars film series.

Baker, at 3 feet, 8 inches (112 cm) tall, was a circus and cabaret performer with entertainer Jack Purvis when George Lucas hired him to be the man inside R2-D2 in Star Wars in 1977. Though both he and his wife have dwarfism, their two sons do not. Baker appears in all six of the Star Wars films, although stock footage was used for much of R2-D2's role in Revenge of the Sith.[1] Baker even played an additional role in 1983's Return of the Jedi as Paploo, the Ewok who stole an Imperial speeder bike. He was originally going to play Wicket W. Warrick, but he fell ill, and that role was handed over to eleven year old Warwick Davis.

In Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens Baker was credited as "R2 Consultant". R2-D2 in the movie was represented by actor Jimmy Vee.[2]

Kenny Paploo

Baker's lesser known role as Paploo the Ewok.

Baker had also worked with George Lucas outside of the Star Wars films. Baker had an uncredited role as R2-D2 in Star Tours and an uncredited role as a Nelwyn band member in Willow, as well as a role as the Goblin Corps in Labyrinth.

Baker's other films include 1980's The Elephant Man, 1981's Time Bandits, and the 1986 Jim Henson film Labyrinth. In the late 1990s, Baker launched a stand up comedy career. Kenny is a first class mouth-organ player and rates his guest appearance with the James Coutts Scottish Dance Band at Hugh McCaig's Silverstone Party in July 1997 as probably his "finest musical experience."

Baker was hospitalized on April 9, 2008 because of a "mystery illness,"[3] and on August 13, 2016, passed away at the age of 81.[4]


BibliographyEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. Metro.co.uk Interview with Kenny Baker
  2. Ward, Jason (2015-09-16). Little Actor Jimmy Vee Is Artoo-Detoo In Star Wars: Episode VIII?. Making Star Wars.
  3. WENN (2008-04-10). R2-D2 Actor Struck Down With Mystery Illness. Retrieved on August 13, 2016.
  4. Slawson, Nicola (2016-08-13). Kenny Baker, actor behind R2-D2, dies. The Guardian. Retrieved on August 13, 2016.

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