Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew dies aged 74

3 May 2019, 07:49 | Updated: 3 May 2019, 11:42

Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew has died
Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew has died. Picture: LucasFilm/Getty

The actor, who played Chewbacca in the original Star Wars film, died in his home surrounded by his family

Star Wars actor Peter Mayhew has died aged 74, his family have confirmed.

Mayhew, who was best known for playing Chewbacca, died at his Texas home on 30 April surrounded by his family.

In a statement shared to Twitter, the family said: "He put his heart and soul into the role of Chewbacca and it showed in every frame of the films from his knock-kneed running, firing his bowcaster from the hip, his bright blue eyes, down to each subtle movement of his head and mouth.

"But, to him, the Star Wars family meant so much more to him than a role in a film."

Mayhew played Chewbacca in the first ever Star Wars film, and appeared in a number of following films in the franchise dating to 2015.

Mark Hammil, who played Luke Skywalker in the original film, paid tribute to his co-star on Twitter, writing: "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".