Peter Mayhew passed away yesterday at 74 years old. Star Wars fans and movie geeks know that the 7’4″ actor portrayed Chewbacca, the furry and fierce partner to smuggler turned Rebel Alliance fighter Han Solo. Mayhem’s towering presence, graceful movements, and ability to project so much emotion through a masked visage made him the perfect person to play the beloved Wookie. His original Star Wars family have paid homage to the actor, and I have collected many of their comments below, including those from his family, George Lucas, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Billy Dee Williams.
Mayhew was a kind, gentle soul and one of a kind. He will be missed.
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
George Lucas remembered Peter Mayhew: “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" https://t.co/kkPgKJs9dR
— Variety (@Variety) May 3, 2019
He was the gentlest of giants-A big man with an even bigger heart who never failed to make me smile & a loyal friend who I loved dearly-I'm grateful for the memories we shared & I'm a better man for just having known him. Thanks Pete #RIPPeterMayhew #Heartbroken @TheWookieeRoars pic.twitter.com/8xbq9HEWF2
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) May 2, 2019
Harrison Ford on the death of Peter Mayhew:
”These aspects of his own personality, plus his wit and grace, he brought to Chewbacca. We were partners in film and friends in life for over 30 years and I loved him." pic.twitter.com/AnZASmnFI8
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) May 3, 2019
— Billy Dee Williams (@realbdw) May 3, 2019
"We are deeply saddened today by the news of Peter Mayhew’s passing. Since 1976, 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."-Kathleen Kennedy.
— Star Wars (@starwars) May 3, 2019