Peter Mayhew, the actor best known for his role as Chewbacca in the Star Wars saga has died at the age of 74.
Though he was an orderly in a hospital when he was cast as the towering Wookiee, he spent the next 40+ years as a ‘Star Wars’ legend.
The 7’3″ tall British actor died at his Texas home on Tuesday, April 30th. His family announced his passing Thursday, May 2nd. Mayhew had undergone spinal surgery in July to aide his mobility.
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
Peter Mayhew was replaced in later movies, Solo: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker by Finnish-born Joonas Suotamo, a former basketball player who became an actor.
Mark Hamill tweeted:
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