Peter Mayhew, the actor who played the tall and shaggy Chewbacca the Wookiee in the Star Wars films, has passed on at 74 years old.
Mayhew passed on at his home in North Texas on Tuesday, as indicated by a family articulation released Thursday on his Twitter account. No reason for death was referenced. He had experienced spinal surgery the previous summer to improve his versatility, as indicated by The Hollywood Reporter.
Mayhew is made due by his wife, Angie, and three children.
“He was the gentlest of giants,” Star Wars co-star Mark Hamill tweeted. “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.”
A native of London, the 7-foot-3 Mayhew played Chewbacca, sidekick to Han Solo, in the original Star Wars trilogy. He continued the role in two additional installments, Revenge of the Sith in 2005 and The Force Awakens in 2015.
Mayhew was a part-time actor working as a hospital orderly when he won the role of Chewbacca. Writer-director George Lucas purportedly cast Mayhew in light of the fact that his height enabled him to play taller than Darth Vader.
“He put his heart and soul into the role of Chewbacca and it showed in every frame of the films,” said his family’s statement. “But, to him, the ‘Star Wars’ family meant so much more to him than a role in a film.”
Chewbacca, sometimes known as the walking carpet, could be risky if fundamental — yet frequently he was an adorable friend to the movies’ different characters. He was a most loved on the fan show circuit, and Mayhew went through 30 years traveling the world to share the Star Wars magic.
Mayhew utilized his distinction in help of a few not-for-profit associations devoted to helping veterans and families and kids in need. His Peter Mayhew Foundation was devoted to “the alleviation of pain, disease and suffering,” by supporting other charitable associations.