The "Star Wars" universe has lost one of its original stars — Kenny Baker, the 3'8" actor who brought R2-D2 to life in the first six films of the legendary series, has died at 81.
Variety reports that Baker's niece Abigail Shield said in a statement: "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 with Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca, in 1999
Along with "Star Wars," the actor also appeared in genre favorites "Flash Gordon" (1980) and "Time Bandits" (1981).
Baker had missed the latest "Star Wars" premiere due to his poor health.