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Kenny Baker

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: August 24, 1934 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Birmingham, England, GB Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

His small stature of 3'8" - while possibly a hindrance for some - proved to be an asset for actor-comedian Kenny Baker, as it allowed him to portray one of pop culture's most iconic characters, the barrel-shaped droid R2-D2 in "Star Wars" (1977). Using his dwarfism to his advantage from an early age, Baker went directly from school to the world of entertainment, working in the theater, the circus, and even in a long-running ice show. Teaming with Jack Purvis, another similarly vertically-challenged performer, he formed the successful musical-comedy act The Mini-Tones prior to being cast in the blockbuster "Star Wars." Baker returned for the sequel "Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back" (1980), in addition to appearances in "The Elephant Man" (1980), "Time Bandits" (1981) and "Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi" (1983). There were other small roles in films like "Amadeus" (1984) and "Labyrinth" (1986) prior to Baker's return to the stage and comedy circuit before he was called back into service by "Star Wars" director George Lucas in 1999. With the completion of the third prequel film, "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith" (2005), Baker and co-star Anthony Daniels (C-3PO)...

His small stature of 3'8" - while possibly a hindrance for some - proved to be an asset for actor-comedian Kenny Baker, as it allowed him to portray one of pop culture's most iconic characters, the barrel-shaped droid R2-D2 in "Star Wars" (1977). Using his dwarfism to his advantage from an early age, Baker went directly from school to the world of entertainment, working in the theater, the circus, and even in a long-running ice show. Teaming with Jack Purvis, another similarly vertically-challenged performer, he formed the successful musical-comedy act The Mini-Tones prior to being cast in the blockbuster "Star Wars." Baker returned for the sequel "Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back" (1980), in addition to appearances in "The Elephant Man" (1980), "Time Bandits" (1981) and "Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi" (1983). There were other small roles in films like "Amadeus" (1984) and "Labyrinth" (1986) prior to Baker's return to the stage and comedy circuit before he was called back into service by "Star Wars" director George Lucas in 1999. With the completion of the third prequel film, "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith" (2005), Baker and co-star Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) became the only two actors to perform in all six "Star Wars" films. Although hidden within a metallic shell, Baker's performance imbued the adorably cantankerous R2-D2 with a humanity appreciated by generations of fans the world over.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

5.
 That's Entertainment! III (1994) Song Performer
6.
 U.F.O. (1993) Casanova
7.
 Sleeping Beauty (1987) Elf
8.
 Labyrinth (1986) Goblin
9.
 Mona Lisa (1986) Brighton Busker
10.
 Amadeus (1984) Parody Commendatore
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1950:
Started his performing career at the age of 16, when he joined Burton Lester's Midgets
:
Joined Billy Smart's Circus as a clown and shadow Ringmaster
1960:
Made feature debut as a Dwarf in "Circus of Horrors"
1977:
Played the loveable android R2D2 in George Lucas' record-breaking sci-fi fantasy "Star Wars"
1980:
Appeared as a Dwarf in the sci-fi feature "Flash Gordon," adapted from the 1930's comic strip
1980:
Cast as the Plumed Dwarf, opposite John Hurt in David Lynch's "The Elephant Man"
1980:
Reprised role of R2D2 in "Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back"
1981:
Starred as Fidgit in Terry Gilliam's "Time Bandits," with Sean Connery and John Cleese
1983:
Appeared in a dual role as the Ewok, 'Paploo' and R2D2 in "Star Wars, Episode VI: Return of the Jedi"
1984:
Cast as Parody Commendatore in the academy award winning film "Amadeus"
1986:
Played a Village Goblin in the Jim Henson directed "Labyrinth," starring David Bowie Bowie and Jennifer Connelly
1997:
Toured Britain as a one man comedy tour called "Kenny Baker"
1999:
Reprised role of R2D2 in "Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace"
2002:
Once again portrayed R2D2 in "Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones"
2005:
Returned as R2D2 in the final installment of the Star Wars series' "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith"
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Notes

Height is 3 Feet, 8 inches tall

Website: www.kennybaker.co.uk/

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