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R2-D2 'Star Wars' actor Kenny Baker dies

Baker first played the robot character in the first 'Star Wars' film in 1977.

This file photo taken on May 25, 2007 shows Star Wars actor Kenny Baker signs autographs during the opening day of "Star Wars Celebration IV" in Los Angeles. Kenny Baker, the British actor who starred as plucky robot R2-D2 in the "Star Wars" movies, died on August 13, 2016, his niece told local media. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNEBSURG - British actor Kenny Baker, who starred as R2-D2 in six Star Wars films, has died at the age of 83.

His niece confirmed to international media that Baker suffered a long illness.

Baker first played the robot character in the first Star Wars film in 1977.

He also appeared in a number of other much-loved films in the 1980s, including The Elephant Man, Time Bandits and Flash Gordon.

Fans have paid tribute to the actor on social media.

Kenny Baker bringing R2-D2 alive pic.twitter.com/8J2rw2oBOh



Rest in peace, Kenny Baker, the heart and soul of R2-D2. pic.twitter.com/NqOpxotxyK



Kenny Baker, the actor behind R2-D2 has died at 83. Thank you for turning an astromech droid into a cultural legend. pic.twitter.com/KrlQf8CCZD



RIP R2D2. Farewell Fidget, Time Bandit. Goodbye Mister Kenny Baker. pic.twitter.com/wuiQuCH7g6



So sad to hear one of my dearest friends passed away. Rest in peace Kenny Baker. Love you. Will miss you! pic.twitter.com/FosdwNysGk



Rest in peace, Kenny Baker. A little man who brought a little robot to life and changed the universe ❤️ pic.twitter.com/1E65sQX5ac