Kenny Baker, the British actor who played Star Wars character R2-D2, has passed away at age 83. Abigail Shield, Baker’s niece, released a statement on Saturday confirming the news. “It was expected, but it’s sad nonetheless,” Shield said. “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.” The 3-foot-8 actor played R2-D2 in the first six Star Wars films starting in 1977. He also played roles in The Elephant Man and Flash Gordon, among many others in his five-decade career. Baker had been suffering from an illness for many years, Shield said, adding that he “had problems with his lungs and was often in a wheelchair.” “He was [doing] very poorly for a long time,” she said.