'Chewbacca' Actor PETER MAYHEW Dies At 74
Sad news, Star Wars fans. It has now been confirmed that legendary British-American actor Peter Mayhew, who brought life to the role of Wookie warrior and Han Solo's trusty companion Chewbacca has died at the age of 74.
“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. Lucasfilm remembers Peter Mayhew, read more at StarWars.com.
He passed away last April 30 in his Texas home with his family by his side. The actor's family released an official statement, confirming Peter's demise via his official Twitter handle.
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
Co-star Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker in the franchise paid tribute to Peter, saying he was the "gentlest of giants".
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
Mayhew played the iconic role in the original Star Wars trilogy which began in 1977 and the films that succeeded it up until 2015's The Force Awakens.
Meanwhile, the latest installment in the franchise Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits cinemas in December.