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Peter Mayhew, the actor who played Chewbacca in 'Star Wars,' dies at 74

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Peter Mayhew, the actor who played Chewbacca in 'Star Wars,' dies at 74

Peter Mayhew, the actor who played Chewbacca in 'Star Wars,' dies at 74

British-born actor Peter Mayhew, who played Han Solo's furry cohort Chewbacca in five of the "Star Wars" movies, has died at age 74.

His family made the announcement on Twitter on Thursday.

Eve Johnson reports.

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Peter Mayhew, the actor who played Chewbacca in 'Star Wars,' dies at 74

Peter Mayhew, the actor who played Star Wars' Chewbacca in films across decades, has died at the age of 74.

On Thursday (May 2) his family announced his passing at home in Texas.

No cause of death was given.

At more than seven feet tall, Mayhew was born to play the 200-year-old wookie - a stalwart companion and co-pilot of space rogue Han Solo first seen in the original 1977 movie.

Mayhew had retired for health reasons.

However, in a statement his family said he had 'fought his way back from being wheelchair-bound' for his final turn as Chewie: 2015's The Force Awakens.

He also consulted off-camera in its sequel The Last Jedi helping to train his successor Joonas Suotamo in the ways of playing a wookie.

Remembrances have poured in from across the Star Wars galaxy.

Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker, called Mayhew 'the gentlest of giants' and a 'loyal friend.'

In a statement, Harrison Ford, who played Han Solo, said Mayhew 'invested his soul in the character' and that 'I and millions of others will never forget Peter and what he gave us all.'

His family says they are planning a public memorial service for fans in December.



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