Kenny Baker, the actor behind Star Wars' R2-D2 who also starred in films like Time Bandits and Flash Gordon, is dead, his niece confirmed Saturday. Baker—whose age is variously being reported as 81, 82, and 83—played the spunky R2 in the original Star Wars trilogy and the prequel films.

The 3 foot, 8 inch actor had apparently been ill for some time, and didn't appear in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

"It was expected, but it’s sad nonetheless," said his niece, Abigail 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."