A true Hollywood icon has left us. It was announced today that Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew passed away on April 30th with family by his side. The Star Wars actor was 74.
Mayhew brought the character of Chewbacca to life in George Lucas’s groundbreaking Star Wars: A New Hope and reprised the character in a number of subsequent films, through the prequel trilogy and into the new J.J. Abrams-led era of Star Wars movies. He made a triumphant return in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but health issues forced him to officially pass the role onto Joonas Suotamo for Star Wars: The Last Jedi and beyond.
The impact of Mayhew’s work on Star Wars cannot be overstated. The mere fact that he became an icon for a role in which audiences never see his face is a testament to his skill as a performer, and the genuine warmth that shone through his full-bodied performance as Han Solo’s buddy and co-pilot. He will be sorely missed.
Our thoughts are with Mayhew’s friends and family at this time. Read his family’s statement in full below.