Chewbacca Actor Peter Mayhew of ‘Star Wars’ Dead at 74

Actor Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca from "Star Wars") appears in the "Walk of Fame" at Dragon*Con on September 1, 2007 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Frank Mullen/WireImage)

Star Wars actor Peter Mayhew, who originated the role of the beloved Chewbacca, died on Tuesday, his family said. He was 74. He died at his North Texas home surrounded by family, according to the statement. His cause of death was not announced.

The actor starred in the original trilogy as the Wookiee Chewbacca and reprised his role in the prequel movie, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. The England-born actor stood 7 feet 3 inches, a height that could give his hairy wookiee character an intimidating quality alongside his disapproving, animalistic deep growls, but it was his gentle spirit, moral compass and close camaraderie with Han Solo as wingman of the Millennium Falcon that captured the hearts of generations of fans. The human behind the character exhibited the same resilient qualities.


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