the family of Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca in the original Star Wars franchise, has announced his death on Twitter on Thursday. He was 74.
Mayhew died on 30 April in his North Texas home surrounded by his family,the statement on Twitter said. He is survived by his wife, Angie Mayhew, and their three children.
Following roles in the original Star Wars trilogy and episode three of the prequels, Mayhew “fought his way back from being wheelchair-bound to stand tall and portray Chewbacca once more in Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, his family wrote. “He put his heart and soul into the role … The relationships that began then grew into the friends and family he would love for decades to come.”
The family will hold a funeral on 29 June and in early December 2019, there will be a memorial for fans of Chewbacca in Los Angeles at the fan event Empire Con LA. The family suggested fans and loved ones donate to Mayhew’s foundation in lieu of flowers or gifts.
Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars saga, paid tribute to Mayhew on Twitter, saying he was “the gentlest of giants”, “a big man with an even bigger heart who never failed to make me smile”.
“I’m a better man for just having known him,” Hamill said.
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