Peter Mayhew (aka "Chewbacca") Passes Away At Age 74

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Peter Mayhew, the actor who played Chewbacca in the original "Star Wars" trilogy, has died at the age of 74. His family announced his death on Twitter.

Co-stars have since posted tributes to Mayhew. 

Mark Hamill tweeted, "He was the gentlest of giants."

Harrison Ford also expressed his condolences in a statement: "Peter Mayhew was a kind and gentle man, possessed of great dignity and noble character. 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. He invested his soul in the character and brought great pleasure to the Star Wars audience. Chewbacca was an important part of the success of the films we made together. He knew how important the fans of the franchise were to it’s continued success and he was devoted to them. I and millions of others will never forget Peter and what he gave us all. My thoughts are with his dear wife Angie and his children. Rest easy, my dear friend." 

Meanwhile, director 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."

Peter Mayhew's "Star Wars" roles spanned 1977 through 2015.  His family said, "He put his heart and soul into the role of Chewbacca, and it showed in every frame."

The 7-foot-2 actor is survived by his wife, Angie, and three children.  

Source: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter.

Photo Credit: Getty Images.

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