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British Actor Kenny Baker (R2-D2) dies aged 81

The British Actor Kenny Baker, who played R2-D2 in the Star Wars films, has passed away at age 81 after suffering with a long term illness.

Baker, who was 3ft 8in tall, rose to fame in 1977 when he was approached to play the role of R2-D2 in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Afterwards he continued to play the role all the way through the original trilogy and the prequel trilogy as well.

His other famous roles include Fidget in 1981's Time Bandits as well as his appearance alongside David Bowie in 1986's Labyrinth.

His niece, Abigail Shield, made a public statement earlier today at the announcement of his passing with the following quotes: “It was expected, but it’s sad nonetheless. He had a very long and fulfilled life. He brought lots of happiness to people and we’ll be celebrating the fact that he was well loved throughout the world. We’re all very proud of what he achieved in his lifetime.”

Baker was unfortunately unable to make the Star Wars Episode VII premiere in Los Angeles last year due to his illness but he was grateful to meet George Lucas one more time when he came to visit in Manchester earlier this year.

Kenny Baker was born in Birmingham, England on 24 August 1934 and passed away on 13 August 2016 and has left behind an incredible legacy. RIP Kenny and may the force be with you always.

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