The Star Wars universe has lost another one of its original stars.
Actor Peter Mayhew, best known for playing Chewbacca in the original "Star Wars" trilogy and two other films in the saga, died Tuesday at the age of 74. He was at home in North Texas with his family. They announced the news via Twitter in a poignant post.
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
Mayhew looms large in the hearts of Star Wars fans. The 7-foot-3-inch-tall actor first portrayed the beloved Wookiee in 1977's "Episode IV," and he kept reprising the role through 2015's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." The actor did so at great effort. His family wrote that "he fought his way back from being wheelchair-bound to stand tall and portray Chewbacca once more." After he handed off the role to Joonas Suotamo, he went on to serve as a consultant on "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" and "Solo: A Star Wars Story."
The actor appeared in other film roles and on TV shows over the years, too. His credits include 2016's "Killer Ink," 2008's "Yesterday Was a Lie," a recurring role in 1981's "Dark Towers," and more.
Fans will have a chance to celebrate Mayhew's life at EmpireCon in Los Angeles in December. He is survived by his wife, Angie, and three children.