Chewbacca Actor Peter Mayhew Dies at 74

May 3, 2019

Peter Mayhew, who famously portrayed Chewbacca in the Star Wars films, has passed away at the age of 74.

Mayhew is known for playing the iconic Chewbaca in the original Star Wars trilogy, episode 3 f the prequels, and the new trilogy.

For a time, the 7-foot-2 actor had to use a wheelchair due to a bum knee. However, he did manage to stand tall to play Chewbacca one last time in Star Wars: The Force Awakens before consulting his successor, Joonas Suotamo, for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

"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 to him than a role in a film."

Mayhew also began the Peter Mayhew Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization "devoted to the alleviation of disease, pain, suffering, and the financial toll brought on by life's traumatic events," according to the foundation's website, which included providing food and supplies for the children of Venezuela during their recent road to freedom.

"His kindness, generosity and care will live on in the Peter Mayhew Foundation with Angie taking the helm as his voice," his family said.

Fellow Star Wars actor Mark Hamill described Mayhew as "A big man with an even bigger heart who never failed to make me smile & a loyal friend who I loved dearly."

Tributes from fans continue to pour in

Even Robert Iger, the CEO of Walt Disney, remembers Mayhew as "larger than life in so many ways... a gentle giant playing a gentle giant."

So let's celebrate May the 4th the right way, by remembering some of the best Chewbacca moments from the Star Wars franchise.