Star Wars Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew passes away at 74

Peter William Mayhew was an English -American actor, best known for portraying Chewbacca in the Star War film series , has passed away at the age of 74 at his home in Texas . He played the character in all of his live action appearances from the  1977 to 2015's The Force Awakens before his retirement from the role. Mayhew succumbed to a heart attack and is survived by his wife and three children. Mayhew died on Tuesday at his home in Texas, surrounded by loved ones, the family said in a statement released on the actor's Twitter account. 

"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 , But, to him, the Star Wars family meant so much more than a role in a film. The relationships that began then grew into the friends and family that he would love for decades to come. "

Along with dedicated fans, Star Wars cast members, producers and directors, including J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson, have led a ‘universe in mourning’ for a ‘kind and gentle’ friend of the franchise.An official announcement about Mayhew’s death said: ‘The family of Peter Mayhew, with deep love and sadness, regrets to share the news that Peter has passed away." Ford said in a media statement“We were partners in film and friends in life for over 30 years and I loved him.”

Mayhew was an aspiring actor working as a hospital orderly in 1976 when George Lucas tapped him to play the part. Mayhew's primary qualification for the job was his height: he stood 7 feet 3 inches tall (220 cm). Chewbacca is a tall , hairy , swashbuckilng smuggler who was adept at combating enemies with his laser cross bow and piloting his spaceship through galaxies with best friend Han Solo ( Harrison Ford) , by his side.

Mayhew lived with wife Mary Angelique("Angie") in Boyd , Texas , and was a  business owner. He became a naturalised citizen of the United States in 2005 at a ceremony in Arlington, Texas.Mayhew underwent double knee replacement surgery in 2013.In January 2015, Mayhew was briefly hospitalised near his home in Texas, due to a bout of pneumonia. In July 2018, Mayhew announced via Twitter that he had successfully undergone unspecified spinal surgery to improve his mobility, and was recovering.The family said a memorial service would be held on June 29 and a memorial for fans would take place in early December in Los Angeles at Empire Con, an event for "Star Wars" fans.

The man who shaped up our childhood by turning it into awesome has finally taken his leave from the world. May his soul rest in peace.


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