Star Wars star Peter Mayhew dies aged 74
Peter Mayhew, best known for his role of Chewbacca in the Star Wars saga, has died at the age of 74.
Mayhew passed away at his home in Texas on April 30th. His family confirmed the news last night (May 2nd) in the below statement:
The family of Peter Mayhew, with deep love and sadness, regrets to share the news that Peter has passed away. He left us the evening of April 30, 2019 with his family by his side in his North Texas home. pic.twitter.com/YZ5VLyuK0u— Peter Mayhew (@TheWookieeRoars) May 2, 2019
The actor, who was over seven foot tall, made his debut as Chewbacca in 1977. He would go on to reprise the role in 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back and 1983’s Return of the Jedi, as well as two of the newer films in the Star Wars saga: 2005’s Revenge of the Sith and 2015’s The Force Awakens.
Tributes have been paid to Mayhew from many of his co-stars, including Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill. You can find a selection below:
RIP Peter Mayhew. To create a beloved character with warmth and humor is a testament to any actor’s spirit. To do it under a half ton of yak hair takes a true legend. ❤️❤️— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) May 3, 2019
Harrison Ford on Peter Mayhew. It's as lovely a statement as anyone of of us could hope for. pic.twitter.com/cS6DSx7V2A— Jeremy J. Sharp (@jeremyjsharp) May 3, 2019
"We are deeply saddened today by the news of Peter Mayhew’s passing. Since 1976, Peter’s iconic portrayal of the loyal, lovable Chewbacca has been absolutely integral to the character’s success, and to the Star Wars saga itself."-Kathleen Kennedy.— Star Wars (@starwars) May 3, 2019
More: https://t.co/iGfk9XRzKa pic.twitter.com/5edrPrEuRS
Star Wars wouldn’t have been the same without Peter Mayhew as the loyal and lovable Chewbacca, and he will always be a favourite for generations of kids & kids at heart. Rest easy, Peter. pic.twitter.com/psEok9fzcq— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) May 3, 2019
He was the gentlest of giants-A big man with an even bigger heart who never failed to make me smile & a loyal friend who I loved dearly-I'm grateful for the memories we shared & I'm a better man for just having known him. Thanks Pete #RIPPeterMayhew #Heartbroken @TheWookieeRoars pic.twitter.com/8xbq9HEWF2— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) May 2, 2019
May the Force Be with You, #PeterMayhew! As the King of the Cinematic Sidekicks, your performance helped make my childhood fun! Thank you for bringing Chewbacca to life and for always waving the flag for fandom! We may have let the Wookie win, but YOU won our hearts, sir! pic.twitter.com/B6cpKTKyv2— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) May 3, 2019