'Star Wars' Chewbacca, Peter Mayhew, Dies at 74

Peter Mayhew, the actor behind the mask of Chewbacca in the original trio of ``Star Wars'' films and again in two other films, has died in his North Texas home at age 74. His family shared the official news via his Twitter account today, May 2nd. The cause of death is not yet known.

"The family of Peter Mayhew, with deep love and sadness, regrets to share the news that Peter has passed away. He left us the evening of April 30, 2019 with his family by his side in his North Texas home," the family tweeted out.

The actor played the notable Chewbacca character in five films - Star Wars (1977),The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Return of the Jedi (1983), Revenge of the Sith (2005) and The Force Awakens (2015). 

Although the 7-foot-2-inch British actor did not provide the voice for Chewbacca in the films, he was loved for the expressiveness that he brought to the character.

In a statement, his family wrote:

"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.

But, to him, the 'Star Wars' family meant so much more to him than a role in a film."

According to his family, Mayhew will be honored at a Los Angeles memorial in early December during EmpireConLA. A memorial service for friends and family will be held June 29. He is survived by his wife Angie and three children.

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