Kenny Baker has been described as “the heart and soul” of Star Wars character R2D2.
The star got his big break in 1977 when he played the robot for the first time and would go on to make devoted fans cry with joy.
Baker died at home in bed on Saturday morning, prompting an outpouring of praise from people who described “a one-off” and a “loyal friend”.
20th Century Fox posted a photograph of C3PO standing next to Baker’s Star Wars character, and wrote: “Rest in peace, Kenny Baker, the heart and soul of R2D2.”
Actor Ewan McGregor, who appeared in three Star Wars movies, tweeted: “So sorry to hear about this. It was lovely working with Kenny.”
Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars film trilogy, paid tribute on Twitter, writing: “Goodbye #KennyBaker A lifelong loyal friend-I loved his optimism & determination He was the droid I was looking for!”
Allo Allo star Vicki Michelle tweeted: “So sorry to hear of the passing of Kenny Baker. Met him several times. Lovely man & a real legend in the film world.”
Baker’s nephew and carer Drew Myerscough, 48, said people were moved to tears then they met Baker, telling the Press Association: “I seen grown women cry simply because they’d met him.”
Baker’s agent Johnny Mans said: “Kenny was truly a great friend, one of the nicest guys you could ever wish to meet and a fabulous and talented performer.
“My wife and family will miss him terribly, and I will never forget the laughs we shared over the years. He was a one-off. There will never be another Kenny Baker.”