Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca in “Star Wars,” dies at age 74

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Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca in "Star Wars," dies at age 74 Stock photo of December 16, 2015 showing American actor Peter Mayhew, upon his arrival at the premiere of the movie "Star Wars: The Force Awakens", in Leicester Square in London (United Kingdom). EFE / Archive

 Los Angeles (USA), – British actor Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca in the “Star Wars” saga, died at age 74, his family reported Thursday on the official Twitter profile of the artist.

“The family of Peter Mayhew, with deep love and sadness, regrets to share the news that Peter has passed away,” said his loved ones in a statement.

Although his death was announced today, Mayhew died on Tuesday, April 30 at his home in Texas, where he lived this actor born in London in 1944 and who would have turned 75 on May 19.

Mayhew fell in love with “Star Wars” fans for his portrayal of the hairy and endearing Chewbacca, the inseparable companion of Han Solo’s adventures (Harrison Ford) and the co-pilot of the Millennium Falcon.

Although Chewbacca did not articulate a word and only emitted indecipherable howls, this character is one of the most charismatic of the saga of science fiction devised by George Lucas.
Mayhew played this role in the three original films: “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope” (1977), “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back” (1980) and “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi “(1983).

The actor returned to interpret to Chewbacca in “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith” (2005), that closed the second trilogy of the saga; and “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” (2015), which started the third and, until now, last series of three “Star Wars” movies.

The relatives of the deceased stressed that Mayhew worked tirelessly to overcome his mobility problems and to get back into the skin of Chewbacca in Episode VII.

“For him, the family of ‘Star Wars’ meant much more than a character in a movie,” said his relatives.

Mayhew toured for many years the fan conferences and fan meetings around the world to become one of the most beloved artists in the saga of “Star Wars”.

In 2015, the actor told how special it was for him to reunite with Harrison Ford on a set during the filming of “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” and defined his close relationship off the screen as “a marriage” .

“I was sitting in my caravan, there was a knock on the door and someone shouted ‘Where is that walking carpet?'” He told Empire magazine.
“It was Harrison, he came in, gave me a big hug and said, ‘Welcome back,'” he added.

The person in charge of giving life to Luke Skywalker in “Star Wars”, Mark Hamill, was one of the stars of Hollywood who reacted with sadness today to the death of an actor known for his long stature and who had operated in 2018 of the spine to improve your mobility.

“He was the kindest of giants, a great man with an even bigger heart than ever stopped making me smile and a loyal friend who I sincerely wanted,” Hamill wrote on his Twitter account.

“I am grateful for the memories we share and I am a better man just for having known him, thank you, Pete,” he added.
“Walt Disney Company regrets the loss of our beloved interpreter of Chewbacca,” said the company’s CEO, Bob Iger, who described Mayhew as “a friendly giant playing a friendly giant.” (EFE) .

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