By Eliana Dockterman
Updated: August 13, 2016 2:23 PM ET

Correction appended, Aug. 13

Kenny Baker, who played R2-D2 in six of the Star Wars movies, has died at the age of 81, his family said. He had been sick for several years.

Baker appeared in Flash Gordon and The Elephant Man. But he was most famous for inhabiting R2-D2 in Episodes I-VI of Star Wars. For the earliest films, the 3-foot-8-inch British actor would slide inside the R2-D2 costume and shake and spin to animate the beloved droid’s reactions to other characters’ dialogue.

Though he did not star in The Force Awakens—he had been restricted to a wheelchair by the time the newest Star Wars film was released—he was credited as a consultant on the film. Baker’s niece told The Guardian that he was invited to the premiere of the film, but he was too sick to go.

Correction: The original version of this story misstated Kenny Baker’s age. He was 81.

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