Star Wars’ Chewbacca, Actor Peter Mayhew, Passes Away at 74
Mayhew died on Tuesday at his home in Texas. He is survived by his wife Angie and three children.
Actor Peter Mayhew. (Image: Twitter/Mark Hamill)
Mayhew died on Tuesday at his home in Texas, surrounded by loved ones, the family said in a statement released on the actor's Twitter account.
"He put 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," the statement said.
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
"But, to him, the Star Wars family meant so much more than a role in a film. The relationships that began then grew into the friends and family that he would love for decades to come."
The towering British-born actor, the son of a policeman who measured seven feet three inches (2.21 meters), was working as a hospital attendant in London when he was discovered by film producer Charles Schneer.
He was first cast in the film Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, in an uncredited role. But he then was cast in the role that would define his career—as the co-pilot and best friend of Han Solo (Harrison Ford) in the original Star Wars film released in 1977.
He would go on to appear in The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and Revenge of the Sith. The family said he had "fought his way back from being wheelchair-bound to stand tall and portray Chewbacca once more in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” He then worked to coach his successor in the role, Joonas Suotamo, the family statement said.
Co-star Mark Hamill, who portrayed Luke Skywalker in the iconic films, was quick to pay tribute to 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," Hamill wrote on Twitter.
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 is survived by his wife Angie and three children. The family said a memorial service would be held on June 29 and a memorial for fans would take place in early December in Los Angeles at Empire Con, an event for Star Wars fans.
Follow @News18Movies for more.
(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat in the Lok Sabha elections and state Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you don a psephologist’s hat and turn into an election expert. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections and see our informative graphics. Elections = News18)
Recommended For You
- ICC World Cup 2019 | Afghanistan Celebrate Win Over Pakistan With Pride & Gunfire
- ICC World Cup 2019 | Injuries Force Collingwood to Take Field For England
- Smriti Irani Celebrates Amethi Victory in the Most ‘Game of Thrones’ Way Possible
- Happy Birthday Karan Johar: 5 Headline Making Moments From Koffee with Karan
- Emilia Clarke Didn't Take Up Fifty Shades of Grey Because She Was 'Sick & Tired' of Being Asked About Nudity
- 01 d
- 12 h
- 38 m
- 09 s