Peter Mayhew, the actor famous for playing Chewbacca in the Star Wars, died at 74 on Tuesday.
Peter originated the role of Chewbacca for the first Star Wars trilogy in 1977.
He played the tall, beloved Wookiee warrior until 2015, when he appeared in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
After that film, Peter retired due to health issues. He continued to serve as a “Chewbacca consultant,” however, for his successor, Joonas Suotamo.
The British actor died at home surrounded by his loved ones, according to a family statement on his Twitter account. No cause of death was mentioned.
“The family of Peter Mayhew, with deep love and sadness, regrets to share the news that Peter has passed away,” the post read.
“He left us the evening of April 30, 2019 with his family by his side in his North Texas home.”
When Peter first won the life-changing role of Chewbacca, he was acting only part-time while working as a hospital orderly. Peter is over 7 feet tall, and creator George Lucas reportedly cast him because he was taller than Darth Vader.
“He put his heart and soul into the role of Chewbacca and it showed in every frame of the films,” the family statement continued. “But, to him, the ‘Star Wars’ family meant so much more to him than a role in a film.”
Peter’s former costars are now paying tribute to the legendary actor. Harrison Ford, who played Han Solo, was close to Peter, as their characters were partners in crime.
“He invested his soul in the character and brought great pleasure to the Star Wars audience,” Harrison said, according to the BBC.
Peter is survived by his wife, Angie, and three children.
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