Peter Mayhew, the actor who portrayed Chewbacca in Star Wars movies from 1977-2015 has passed away on April 30th at his Texas home.
The family of Peter Mayhew, with deep love and sadness, regrets to share the news that Peter has passed away. He left us the evening of April 30, 2019 with his family by his side in his North Texas home. pic.twitter.com/YZ5VLyuK0u
— Peter Mayhew (@TheWookieeRoars) May 2, 2019
Harrison Ford called a “kind and gentle man” with “great dignity and noble character”.
“We were partners in film and friends in life for over 30 years and I loved him,” Ford said.
Mark Hamill has also speaking fondly of Mayhew called him, “the gentlest of giants”.
and added, “What was so remarkable about him was his spirit and his kindness and his gentleness was so close to what a Wookiee is.
“He just radiated happiness and warmth. He was always up for a laugh and we just hit it off immediately and stayed friends for over 40 years.”
Mayhew’s family stated, “He fought his way back from being wheelchair-bound to stand tall and portray Chewbacca once more in Star Wars: The Force Awakens,”.
George Lucas said, “Peter was a wonderful man. He was the closest any human being could be to a Wookiee: big heart, gentle nature – and I learned to always let him win. He was a good friend, and I’m saddened by his passing.”
Kathleen Kennedy has also responded in kind words saying, “Peter’s iconic portrayal of the loyal, lovable Chewbacca has been absolutely integral to the character’s success, and to the Star Wars saga itself.
“When I first met Peter during The Force Awakens, I was immediately impressed by his kind and gentle nature.
“Peter was brilliantly able to express his personality through his skilful use of gesture, posture, and eyes. We all love Chewie, and have Peter to thank for that enduring memory.”
Joonas Suatamo, the actor that Mayhew aided as a consultant during The Last Jedi posted a heartfelt tweet as well.
R.I.P 😔 pic.twitter.com/FWRgaOS0Tf
— Joonas Suotamo (@JoonasSuotamo) May 2, 2019
Suotamo was cast as Chewbacca’s body double in Force Awakens. He continues in the role and played Chewie in 2017 for The Last Jedi and 2018’s Solo: A Star Wars Story.
— JJ Abrams (@jjabrams) May 3, 2019
RIP Peter Mayhew. To create a beloved character with warmth and humor is a testament to any actor’s spirit. To do it under a half ton of yak hair takes a true legend. ❤️❤️
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) May 3, 2019
Peter Mayhew was one of our all time favorite Star Wars actors and will be missed.