Actor Peter Mayhew, Star Wars's original iconic Chewbacca, died on April 30 at 74 surrounded by his family at his North Texas home, his family announced Thursday on his Twitter.
Beloved by multiple generations of fans, the English-born Mayhew appeared as the Wookie, Han Solo's best friend and Millenniun Falcon co-pilot in the orginal trilogy, Revenge of the Sith, The Star Wars Holiday Special, and last appeared in The Force Awakens. He was active on the Star Wars convention circuit for most of his career as Chewbacca.
Measuring 7 foot 3 inches tall, Mayhew, got the role of 'Chewie' when the original actor eyed for the role, bodybuilder David Prowse, decided to play Darth Vader instead.
While occasionally appearing as an actor, Mayhew also co-authored with his wife Angie a graphic novel memoir, Growing Up Giant, and an anti-bullying book, My Favorite Giant, and became involved in charitable causes, including his own Peter Mayhew Foundation.
There will be a memorial service for friends and family on June 29, with a memorial for fans early December at EmpireCon in Los Angeles. He is survived by his wife, Angie, and three children.
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