Kenny Baker, the legendary actor inside R2-D2 turns 79 today. Happy birthday, Artoo!
Kenneth George “Kenny” Baker (born 24 August 1934) is an English actor and musician, best known as the man inside R2-D2 in the popular Star Wars film series.
Kenny 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”.
Kenny 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 Warwick Davis.
Baker has 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”. Baker played harmonica with the James Coutts’ Scottish Dance Band at Hugh McCaig’s Silverstone Party in July 1997. Baker currently resides in Preston, Lancashire. While both he and his wife have dwarfism, their two sons do not.
In November 2009, his biography entitled “From Tiny Acorns: The Kenny Baker Story” was made available through his website and at conventions and book signings. It was written with Ken Mills. Text from: Wikipedia.