Kenny Baker

Kenneth George Baker (1934 - 2016)

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Kenneth George (Kenny) Baker
Born in Birmingham, West Midlands, England, United Kingdommap
Brother of [private brother (1940s - unknown)] [half]
Husband of — married (to ) [location unknown]
[children unknown]
Died in Ashton, Preston, England, United Kingdommap
Profile last modified | Created 28 Dec 2015
This page has been accessed 696 times.

Categories: English Notables | Actors | Musicians | This Day In History August 24 | This Day In History August 13.

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Biography

Son of Harold Baker and Ethel Heath. [1]

His parents divorced when he was young and both remarried. Harold remarried to Kathleen (she was about 15 years younger than him) and they had a daughter named Carol. Harold died at the age of 42 due to a bad reaction to anesthetic while having an operation for gallstones. Harold's sister, Winnie and her husband Jack Grime, lived in Montpelier and often threw parties which Kenny and his parents would attend.

Ethel remarried to an American serviceman named Eddie Montgomery and went to live in America (Clarksdale, Mississippi).

Kenny met his future wife Eileen after she saw him on a talk show hosted by Michael Parkinson. She wrote him a letter stating that she was a dwarf as well and would like to meet him. They did meet and were married soon after in 1970. They went on to have two children together: Chris Baker born 1972 and Kevin Baker born 1975. Neither child inherited their dwarfism.

Kenny was primarily a "performer", as he preferred to be called up to the mid-70's. He started off around 1950 in Burton Lester's Midgets doing a circus act. He did several acts, including roller skating, riding a bike and whistling. He also did conjuring tricks, played drums and comedy routines as well. He later branched into work as a DJ and circus clown. He was also part of a comedy-musical duo called the Mini-Tones with Jack Purvis.

But in the mid-70's, with a wife and two small children at home, he was offered the part of R2-D2 in a new movie franchise called Star Wars. He was reluctant to take the part, but after persistent offers, he accepted. It was hard work sitting inside a tin can for 8 hours a day, overheated and out of breath, but he was a performer and managed to pull it off. The results - well, Star Wars was a tremendous success and R2-D2 became a beloved character in movie history.

Kenny's success continued strong for another 15 years, with Star Wars sequels, additional movie roles, and convention appearances. He made one appearance in 1990 and another in 1993, but appears to have taken a break after his wife Eileen died in 1993 due to complications from a blood clot likely caused due to her epilepsy. His children were 21 and 18 at the time of her passing.

Kenny is famous for his film portrayals as R2-D2 in the Star Wars films, Fidgit in Time Bandits, and many other roles. He has appeared on the stage and television as well. He is also an accomplished harmonica player and ice skater.

In a 2009 interview, he indicated that he is seeing a girlfriend (Valerie Gale) that he originally met in the 1960's and that he is continuing to make appearances at conventions.

Kenny was discovered to be dead by nephew Drew (Andrew) Myerscough at Kenny's home in Preston, England on Saturday, August 13. He was almost 82 years old at the time of his passing.[2] His niece, Abigail Shield (and Drew's sister), was who contacted the press.[3] Abigail and Andrew were the children of Ian (last name presumed to be Myerscough). It is also presumed that Ian and Kenny's mother, Ethel, were siblings.

Sources

  1. "England and Wales Birth Registration Index, 1837-2008," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVQC-KN6X : 1 October 2014), Kenneth G Baker, 1934; from "England & Wales Births, 1837-2006," database, findmypast (http://www.findmypast.com : 2012); citing Birth Registration, Birmingham, Warwickshire, England, citing General Register Office, Southport, England.
  2. http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory/kenny-baker-played-r2-d2-star-wars-dead-41357952
  3. http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/13/entertainment/actor-kenny-baker-dies/index.html


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Kenny Baker
Kenny Baker

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Kenny is 27 degrees from Robin Helstrom, 33 degrees from Katy Jurado and 23 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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