Peter Mayhew, known all over the globe as the actor who played Chewbacca in the epic Star Wars Saga, passed away in his North Texas home on April 30th, as relayed by his family today (May 2nd) on social media platforms.
Mayhew’s career in acting was a thing of myth, legend, and in some ways, happy accident. The British born Mayhew had been working as an orderly in a hospital with no acting aspirations until he was discovered primarily on the merit of his astonishing height (7’3″) and incredibly large feet. He was able to parlay these physical attributes into a career dominated by playing the role of Chewbacca, Han Solo’s Wookie co-pilot and best friend. Mayhew played the beloved character in Star Wars films across every major phase of the franchise, beginning with A New Hope in 1977 and ending with The Force Awakens in 2015. He passed the mantle of Chewbacca on to actor Joonas Suotamo for 2017’s The Last Jedi, although Mayhew still remained as a consultant on the project.
Mayhew brought Chewbacca to life in a way that resonated across generations. His passion and love for the character transcended that of a mere job but became an integral part of his life, as well as ours, as he continued to make convention appearances as recent as this year. Chewbacca was fierce, loyal, warm, and brave, and by all accounts, Mayhew was as well. Rest in Power, Peter Mayhew. What a Wookie, indeed.
Beloved Star Wars Actor, Peter Mayhew, Passes Tuesday at Age 74
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