ARTS + ENTERTAINMENT

Peter Mayhew, Star Wars’ Chewbacca, has died

May 2, 2019, 4:46 PM | Updated: 6:02 pm
peter mayhew chewbacca...
Actor Peter Mayhew attends the world premiere of Solo: A Star Wars Story in Hollywood on May 10, 2018. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Disney)
(Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Disney)

The family of Peter Mayhew, known for his role as Han Solo’s Wookiee sidekick, Chewbacca, says the actor has died.

In a statement released Thursday, Mayhew’s family said the actor passed away April 30. He was 74. ABC News says a family member reported to the network that he died of a heart attack.

Mayhew portrayed Chewbacca through the three original “Star Wars” films as well as the prequel film, “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith,” and the first of the most recent trilogy, “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.”

For Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, Mayhew retired due to health reasons, and was credited as Chewbacca consultant.

Mayhew stood 7’3″ at his tallest, and was a published author. His books, “Growing Up Giant” and “My Favorite Giant,” aimed at children, spread messages about how differences can be good and against bullying.

His family said Mayhew “put his heart and soul into the role of Chewbacca, and it showed in every frame of the films.”

They went on to describe him as passionate about helping others. Throughout his life, Mayhew donned his Chewbacca costume to entertain children in hospitals and established the Peter Mayhew Foundation, helping families in crisis and beyond.

“He not only provided funds but became personally involved with each individual, family and cause he supported,” his family wrote.

Mayhew is survived by his wife, Angie, and three children.

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Peter Mayhew, Star Wars’ Chewbacca, has died