Peter Mayhew, the 74-year-old actor who has played Chewbacca since the original Star Wars in 1977, has passed away.
Following the news of his passing, tributes to the beloved English actor began pouring in from all corners of the internet.
Rest in peace to Peter Mayhew, the man who brought Chewbacca to life in 'Star Wars'. pic.twitter.com/KJjvzn8xYW
— Lights, Camera, Pod (@LightsCameraPod) May 2, 2019
RIP to the great Peter Mayhew, the man behind the original Chewbacca in Star Wars.
May the Force be with you. pic.twitter.com/oxHQXR6Y1G
— Rotten Tomatoes (@RottenTomatoes) May 2, 2019
RIP Peter Mayhew. pic.twitter.com/0w7MIFx8YY
— FANGORIA (@FANGORIA) May 2, 2019
We are saddened to learn of the passing of actor Peter Mayhew, most famous for his portrayal of Chewbacca.
Our deepest condolences to the Mayhew family. pic.twitter.com/WVEsepFtcn
— RiffTrax (@RiffTrax) May 2, 2019
Peter Mayhew, the actor behind Chewbacca, has passed away at age 74. RIP & May The Force Be With You. pic.twitter.com/NCMNcxCvgJ
— Collider Video (@ColliderVideo) May 2, 2019
In addition to fans, former Star Wars co-stars also paid tribute to the late actor.
“He was the gentlest of giants-A big man with an even bigger heart who never failed to make me smile & a loyal friend who I loved dearly-I’m grateful for the memories we shared & I’m a better man for just having known him,” tweeted Mark Hamill, who stars as Luke Skywalker.
“To create a beloved character with warmth and humor is a testament to any actor’s spirit. To do it under a half ton of yak hair takes a true legend,” tweeted The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson.
“Star Wars wouldn’t have been the same without Peter Mayhew as the loyal and lovable Chewbacca, and he will always be a favourite for generations of kids & kids at heart. Rest easy, Peter,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Aside from Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Solo: A Star Wars Story, Mayhew appeared as Chewbacca in all three of the original films — Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and The Last Jedi — and 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Following Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Mayhew retired from the role of Chewbacca due to health issues.
Mayhew, who was close to 7’3″ tall, begin his career when he was cast as a minotaur in Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger.
In addition to being an actor, Mayhew wrote two children’s books about acceptance: Growing Up Giant and My Favorite Giant.
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