Peter Mayhew, Chewbacca in ‘Star Wars,’ dies at 74

Photo of Peter Mayhew by Ethan Miller/Getty Images. Photo of Peter Mayhew's original "Chewbacca" head by AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN

FORT WORTH, Texas — Peter Mayhew, who portrayed Chewbacca in multiple Star Wars films, has passed away at 74-years-old.

The Mayhew family announced the news “with deep love and sadness” on Peter’s Twitter account Thursday night.

Peter passed away Tuesday, April 30 with his family by his side at his home in northern Texas.

Peter played Chewbacca in the original Star Wars trilogoy, episode 3 of the prequels and the New Trilogoy, according to the statement released by his family. He also “fought his way back from being wheel-chair bound to stand tall” and play the character one last time in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  He also consulted on The Last Jedi to teach his successor.

“He put his heart and soul into the role of Chewbacca, and it showed in every frame of the films, from his knock-kneed running, firing his bowcaster from the hip, his bright blue eyes, down to each subtle movement of his head and mouth,” his family said in a statement. “But to him, the Star Wars family meant so much more than a role in a film.”

During his life, Peter was heavily involved with the 501st Legion, the Wounded Warrior Project, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and other nonprofit organizations.

He also established the Peter Mayhew Foundation, supporting everything from individuals and families in crisis to providing food and supplies to Venezuelan children during their recent road to freedom.  He not only provided funds to these people, but became personally involved with each individual and family he supported, according to the statement.

Peter is survived by his wife, Angie, and three children.

There will be a memorial for his family and friends held on June 29.  A memorial for his fans, set up with his family in attendance, personal effects and a collection, will be held in early December at EmpireConLA in Los Angeles.

The family asks that instead of providing gifts or flowers to consider donating to his foundation.

CLICK HERE to donate to the Peter Mayhew Foundation.

More on Star Wars, here.

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