Peter Mayhew is survived by his wife and three children.
Peter Mayhew, the original actor behind iconic Star Wars character Chewbacca, has died at the age of 74, according to a letter written by his family members.
In a letter posted to Peter Mayhew’s official Twitter account, “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.”
A letter from Peter Mayhew’s family, via Mayhew’s Twitter
Mayhew portrayed Chewbacca in the original Star Wars in 1977. He would reprise the role in The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. He shared the role with Joonas Suotamo in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, before letting Suotamo take on the role for StarWars: The Last Jedi, Solo: A Star Wars Story, and the upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
He has portrayed Chewbacca in a few other Star Wars projects, including the Star Wars Holiday Special.
“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 birght blue eyes, down to each subtle movement of his head and mouth,” the letter on his Twitter account continued.
Memorial image of Peter Mayhew via Mayhew’s Twitter
The letter also noted Mayhew’s commitment to appearing as Chewbacca for a number of charity visits and work with non-profit organizations, as well as his establishment of the Peter Mayhew Foundation.
Mayhew is survived by his wife and three children.
The letter mentions that a memorial service for friends and family will be held on June 29, while a memorial will be set up in Los Angeles in early December for fans to visit at EmpireConLA. Mayhew’s family has asked, in lieu of gifts and/or flowers, for donations to be made to the Peter Mayhew Foundation.