Peter Mayhew, Actor Who Portrayed Chewbacca in Star Wars, Dies at 74

PEOPLE.com | 5/2/2019 | Staff
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Peter Mayhew, best known for bringing to life one of cinema’s most beloved characters, Chewbacca, has died. He was 74.

The actor’s family released a statement on his official Twitter page on Thursday, writing, “The family of Peter Mayhew, with deep love and sadness, regrets to share the news that Peter has passed away.”

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“He left us the evening of April 30, 2019, with his family by his side in his North Texas home,” the statement continued.

Mayhew portrayed Chewbacca in George Lucas’s original Star Wars trilogy, as well as Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith.

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The actor returned to the role for 2015’s The Force Awakens, with his family saying in the statement, “He fought his way back from being wheelchair-bound to stand tall and portray Chewbacca once more.”

Mayhew also “consulted” on The Last Jedi, his family said, putting “his heart and soul into the role of Chewbacca and it showed in every frame of the films from his knock-kneed running, firing his bowcaster from the hip, his bright blue eyes, down to each subtle movement of his head and mouth.”

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“But to him, the Star Wars family meant so much more to him than a role in a film.”

Shortly after news of his death broke, costar Mark Hamill paid tribute to Mayhew whom he described as “the gentlest of giants.”

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“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...
(Excerpt) Read more at: PEOPLE.com
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