Peter Mayhew, original ‘Star Wars’ Chewbacca actor, dies at 74

DALLAS — Peter Mayhew, who played the original Chewbacca in several “Star Wars” films, died Tuesday, his family said. He was 74.

Mayhew played Chewbacca in the original “Star Wars” trilogy, Episode 3 of the prequels and the New Trilogy, and consulted on “The Last Jedi” to teach his successor.

“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 and mouth,” his family said in a statement.

“But to him, the Star Wars family meant so much more than a role in a film.”

He is survived by his wife Angie and his three children.

A memorial service will be held for family and friends on June 29, and a memorial will be set up for fans in early December in Los Angeles.

In lieu of gifts and flowers, his family asks donations can be made to the Peter Mayhew foundation so they can continue his efforts to help the community.

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