British actor Kenny Baker, who starred as R2-D2 in numerous Star Wars films, has passed away at age 81 after a long illness, according to BBC.
Baker rose to prominence with his role as R2-D2 in 1977's Star Wars, and went on to play the role in Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, as well as the prequel films and several other related projects. Although he did not reprise his role in Force Awakens, he was credit as a consultant for the 2015 film.
"So sorry to hear about this. It was lovely working with Kenny," said Star Wars co-star Ewan McGregor.
Born in Birmingham, England on on August 24, 1934, Baker joined the entertainment industry at age 16 as a circus clown and in pantomime.
In addition to the Star Wars films, Baker also had roles in Flash Gordon, Time Bandits, Labyrinth, and Willow.
Baker was preceeded in death by his wife Eilen, but is survived by two children.