Peter Mayhew: Chewbacca Actor From ‘Star Wars’ Dies at 74

“Star Wars” actor Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca in the original trilogy, died on Tuesday, his family declared on his Twitter. He was 74.

He died at his North Texas home encompassed by his family, read the Twitter statement.

In spite of the fact that he talked completely in snarls, growls, and the occasional roar, Chewbacca’s relentless unwaveringness to Han Solo made him a standout amongst the most adored characters in the franchise. Substantially more than simply the bristly co-pilot of the Millennium Falcon, Chewie’s reliability and dependability helped the iconic Wookiee function as the series’ ultimate “wing man.”

He was found by producer Charles H. Schneer while filling in as a hospital attendant in London, and cast in Ray Harryhausen’s “Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger.” The following year, he was given a role as Chewbacca, the 200-year-old Wookiee.

Mayhew proceeded to show up in “The Empire Strikes Back,” “Return of the Jedi,” “Revenge of the Sith,” “The Force Awakens” and “The Star Wars Holiday Special.” He was active on the “Star Wars” convention circuit and wrote two books, “Growing Up Giant” and “My Favorite Giant.”

His height was not because of gigantism, however he gauged 7 feet 3 inches. George Lucas initially had his eye on bodybuilder David Prowse to play Chewbacca, yet Prowse chose to play Darth Vader rather and Lucas ran with the considerably taller Mayhew.

On TV, he made guest appearances on “Donny & Marie,” “The Muppet Show” and “Glee.” He seldom played roles outside of Chewbacca, except for “Dark Towers,” on which he played the Tall Knight and horror movie “The Terror,” in which he played the Mechanic.

Mayhew was asked by Australia’s BMag for what valid reason Chewbacca didn’t get a medal toward the finish of the first “Star Wars” alongside Solo and Skywalker. “I think it was one of two reasons,” he said. “One, they didn’t have enough money to buy me a medal. Or two, Carrie couldn’t reach my neck, and it was probably too expensive to build a little step so that I could step down or she could step up and give me the medal.”

He built up the Peter Mayhew Foundation to give assets to those in need, and suported the 501st Legion, Wounded Warriors, Make-a-Wish and other non-benefits. Donations may be made to the Peter Mayhew Foundation.

There will be a memorial service for friends and family on June 29, with a memorial for fans in Los Angeles in early December at EmpireCon. He is survived by his wife, Angie, and three children.

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