Original Chewbacca Actor Peter Mayhew Dead at 74

May 3, 2019

© Press Association

Actor Peter Mayhew, best known for his portrayal of Chewbacca in the original Star Wars trilogy, has died. He was 74. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the family of the 7-foot-3 English actor confirmed the sad news on Twitter Thursday, noting that he passed away in his North Texas home with his family by his side on Tuesday. The London native played Chewbacca in Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Return of the Jedi (1983), Revenge of the Sith (2005), and The Force Awakens (2015). He had undergone spinal surgery in July in an effort to improve his mobility. Several of his co-stars have since reacted to his passing, with Mark Hamill tweeting, "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.” Harrison Ford also said in a statement, "We were partners in film and friends in life for over 30 years and I loved him. He invested his soul in the character and brought great pleasure to the Star Wars audience.” Mayhew is survived by his wife and three children.