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Kenny Baker

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Kenneth George "Kenny" Baker was an English actor and musician, best known as the man inside R2-D2 in the Star Wars film series.

Life and career

Baker, who stands 3 ft 8 in (112 cm) tall, was born and educated in Birmingham, Warwickshire, and at boarding school in Kent. His parents were of average height. He is an only child, and wanted to follow in his father's footsteps and be an engraver, but had not received sufficient education.[citation needed] He went to live with his stepmother in Hastings, Sussex and in 1951 was approached on the street by a lady who invited him to join a theatrical troupe of dwarves and midgets. This was his first taste of show business. Later, he joined a circus for a brief time, learned to ice-skate and appeared in many ice shows. He had formed a successful comedy act called the Minitones with entertainer Jack Purvis when George Lucas hired him to be the man inside R2-D2 in Star Wars in 1977.

Baker appears in all six of the episodic theatrical Star Wars films. Baker played an additional role in 1983's Return of the Jedi as Paploo, the Ewok who steals an Imperial speeder bike. He was originally going to play Wicket, but he fell ill and that role was handed over to Warwick Davis. Kenny is featured on Justin Lee Collins' "Bring Back Star Wars". He revealed a feud between him and his co-star Anthony Daniels. He claimed Daniels had been rude to him on numerous occasions, and states that Daniels is rude to everyone, including fans. He even said he wouldn't be in the same room as Daniels unless necessary.

Although R2 made several Muppet related appearances, Baker did not perform the character: "On the few times that there was a Star Wars special they would use the three legged R2, like on The Muppet Show."

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