TEXAS—Actor Peter Mayhew, 74, the man behind the mask of Chewbacca in the 1977 film “Star Wars” and the franchise died at his North Texas home surrounded by family.His passing was confirmed via a statement issued on Twitter by Mayhew’s family on Tuesday, April 30.
Fans celebrated the character in a theme recognized on May 4 “May the Fourth Be With You,” a Star Wars slogan (fan based created) that has been used for decades to honor the passing of Mayhew.
The 7 foot and 3 inch tall, legendary character Chewbecca, which Mayhew portrayed was once wheelchair bound before he taught himself to walk playing the furry 200-year-old Wookiee warrior in “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back,” “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back,” “Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi,” “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
Mayhew was first discovered by director George Lucas while working as an orderly in a hospital. Lucas cast the British born actor in the first “Star Wars” film.
Mayhew studied how gorillas moved, and acted, developing a uniqueness to his role. Ben Burt, voiced the character with a mix of animal sounds like, walruses, bears, tigers, camels and badgers.
Fans and friends expressed condolences on social media platforms, celebrating the theme “May The Force Be With You,” honoring the late actor.
Family requested that fans and friends donate to The Peter Mayhew Foundation which is a non-profit organization established in 1994 aimed to relieve diseases, suffering and financial hardships brought on by traumatic events to those in need.
He is survived by his wife Angie and their three children. Two memorial services are scheduled for June 29 and early December in Los Angeles for fans. The services will highlight Star War fan collections at the Empire ConLA.
For more updates on memorial services email, ryan@ReelAppearances.com