Peter Mayhew Chewbacca actor dies

‘Star Wars’ Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew dies at 74

The actor was best known for playing the original Chewbacca in many 'Star Wars' films.

May 2, 2019
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Peter Mayhew, the actor best known for his portrayal of Chewbacca in many Star Wars films, has died at the age of 74.

The news was revealed via his official Twitter page earlier today.

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Mayhew died April 30 at his home in North Texas surrounded by his family.

“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.”

The actor played Chewbacca in Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Return of the Jedi(1983) and Revenge of the Sith (2005). He was eventually wheelchair-bound but fought his way back to partake in The Force Awakens (2015).

Mayhew also consulted on The Last Jedi in an attempt to teach his Chewbacca successor Joonas Suotamo.

“Chewbacca is one of the most iconic characters in the history of film, and Peter’s development and portrayal of this beloved Wookie has spread so much joy around the globe,” Suotamo wrote after the announcement of his casting. “Peter’s guidance and kindness have been invaluable gifts which warmed my spirit and prepared me for this journey. I aspire to make Peter proud and bring Star Wars fans the Chewie they know and love.”

Mayhew did some minor acting before trying out for the Star Wars role, during which he was working as a hospital orderly.

A memorial service for friends and family will be held June 29. Fans will be able to pay their respects at a memorial set up at EmpireCon LA in early December.

In lieu of flowers and gifts, the family asks that you make a donation to the Peter Mayhew Foundation so that they may continue his efforts in the community. You can make a donation here.

Our thoughts are with Mayhew’s family and friends during this time.

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Written by Whitney Shoemaker

Whitney is your definition of pop punk trash. If she's not jamming to State Champs or Grayscale, then she's probably out enjoying the finer things or working a show for Fearless Records as a Street Team Leader. She's a realist and an optimist, calling the city of Columbus her home. A huge fan of naps, Whitney often falls asleep in a city that doesn't. She's not hard to please, finding joy in discovering new bands or playing Everlong on the late night radio. Working at Alt Press and breaking ground in the music scene have always been a dream of hers, telling herself at an early age she was down for losing it all to make that happen! Now the weekend writer at AP, Whitney is prepared to be noticed and eager to contribute to the scene. If you catch her at a concert feel free to stick around, make small talk, or discuss her overuse of State Champs lyrics and song titles in her bio.