R.I.P. Peter Mayhew

You may not know his face, but you knew his work.Peter Mayhew, the man who played Chewbacca in the “Star Wars” movies has dead at the age of 74. Mayhew's family says he passed away on April 30th at his home in North Texas. In a statement, they said Mayhew put his heart and soul into playing the role of the tall, furry Wookie co-pilot of the Millennium Falcon. And his commitment to fans was never unnoticed, as he was credited with never missing a single “Star Wars” convention.

There's no word on the cause of his death, but Mayhew leaves behind a wife and three children, as well as millions of devoted fans. Speaking of fans – some of his most famous are equally shell-shocked by the news:

  • In a statement,Harrison Ford offers, "Peter Mayhew was a kind and gentle man, possessed of great dignity and noble character…We were partners in film and friends in life for over 30 years and I loved him…My thoughts are with his dear wife Angie and his children. Rest easy, my dear friend."
  • Filmmaker George Lucas noted, "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."
  • “Luke Skywalker” – aka Mark Hamill took to Twitter to say, “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.”

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