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Kenny Baker Nominated for Oscar

Written by: Sean the Irish Bastard Published on: 15 Feb 2000

Today’s announcement of this year’s Oscar nominations brought good news for fans of diminutive brummie Kenny Baker, as he received a nomination for his work on last year’s blockbuster Star Wars episode 1. Baker, 65 was listed as being in the running for a relatively new Oscar catagory, Best Performance in a Tin Can. The first person to receive the award was one-time queen of Blue Peter, the late Michael Sundin (1986), for his performance as Tik-Tok in Return to Oz. Other past winners include Mike Edmonds, Warwick Davies and a kid called Simon who got roped into play some metal thing orother in Labyrinth.

Baker’s interpretation of the role of R2D2 has won great acclaim over the years, and the latest chapter in the film series, the much-hyped prequel The Phantom Menace gave the teeny actor the chance to “go back and explore the development of the character”. Tony Fielder, film critic of acclaimed newspaper the Redditch Bugle described at the time of release “Mr Baker’s sympathetic portrayal of a droid suddenly thrust into the line of fire” which “helped set the scene for a both deeply moving and truly majestic production”. Alec Guinness however described the film as “bloody awful”. He did later add “I liked the little dustbin chap though - he hasn’t changed at all”.

The full list of nominees for the award are as follows:

  • Kenny Baker (Star Wars Episode I: the Phantom Menace)
  • Ray Griffifths (Star Wars Episode I: the Phantom Menace)
  • Jeff Shay (Star Wars Episode I: the Phantom Menace)
  • Paul Martin Smith (Star Wars Episode I: the Phantom Menace)
  • Danny Wagner (Star Wars Episode I: the Phantom Menace)

A spokesman for LucasFilm said that they were “quietly confident” of picking up the Oscar at the award ceremony on March 26.

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