Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca, the faithful Wookiee co-pilot of Han Solo in the original Star Wars and its sequels, has died.
The towering 7-foot-2-inch actor was 74. His family said he died April 30 at his Texas home, but they did not announce his death until May 2, 2019.
He recently appeared at Star Wars Celebration Chicago in April, and was set to appear at this weekend’s Dallas Fan Expo.
Mayhew reprised the role of Chewbacca, and passed it to a new generation in Joonas Suotamo, during 2015’s Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens.
He also played Chewie briefly in 2005’s Episode III — Revenge of the Sith.
But Mayhew was more than just Chewbacca — he was a loving, and beloved, ambassador for Star Wars, charitable causes and humanity itself. The Wookiee roars, forevermore.
Some recent posts from Peter Mayhew:
Peter Mayhew’s Star Wars family reacts to his death:
"We are deeply saddened today by the news of Peter Mayhew’s passing. Since 1976, Peter’s iconic portrayal of the loyal, lovable Chewbacca has been absolutely integral to the character’s success, and to the Star Wars saga itself."-Kathleen Kennedy.— Star Wars (@starwars) May 3, 2019
More: https://t.co/iGfk9XRzKa pic.twitter.com/5edrPrEuRS
Harrison Ford on the death of his friend, Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew: pic.twitter.com/DvVZYICwZ9— Ryan Parker (@TheRyanParker) May 3, 2019
Dear World,#MayTheFourthBeWithYou. Paying respects to Peter Mayhew. His kindness and joy always illuminated our cherished Chewbacca. Thank you for sharing your light, Peter. Rest easy.— Lupita Nyong'o (@Lupita_Nyongo) May 4, 2019
RIP Peter Mayhew. To create a beloved character with warmth and humor is a testament to any actor’s spirit. To do it under a half ton of yak hair takes a true legend. ❤️❤️— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) May 3, 2019
Rest In Peace to the great Peter Mayhew, whose generous spirit and gentle demeanor will live on in my favorite Star Wars character, Chewbacca. https://t.co/LoDYlRrOoc— Phil Szostak (@PhilSzostak) May 2, 2019
View this post on Instagram
It is with great sadness that we report that Peter Mayhew, the original actor behind our beloved Chewbacca, has become one with the Force. We here at Wookieepedia are endlessly grateful for Mayhew’s work and the purity and lovableness he brought to our favorite Wookiee. May he rest in peace. #starwars #petermayhew #wookieepedia
Sad, after my 3 days in the WiFi-free zone of the rain forest, to now find Peter has left us. No more, his Chewie hug. It was noted long ago that, of all we original masked players, only his eyes shone through. Watch A New Hope in his memory and see those big kind eyes once more.— Anthony Daniels (@ADaniels3PO) May 5, 2019