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Peter Mayhew, actor who played Chewbacca in Star Wars movies, dies

Peter Mayhew, whose face was never seen in the Star Wars films - his entire body was always clothed in his Wookiee costume - died at his north Texas home on Tuesday.

By: Reuters |
Updated: May 3, 2019 6:40:30 am
Peter Mayhew was 74. (REUTERS/Danny Moloshok/File Photo)

British-born actor Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca the Wookiee, the loyal, furry cohort of space buccaneer Han Solo in five of the Star Wars movies, has died at age 74, his family said on Thursday.

Mayhew, whose face was never seen in the Star Wars films – his entire body was always clothed in his Wookiee costume – died at his north Texas home on Tuesday, according to the family’s statement on Twitter, but no cause of death was given.

The tall, lanky performer made his first appearance as the beloved, bleating Chewbacca character in the landmark 1977 sci-fi action-thriller Star Wars, and went on to co-star in four more films in the blockbuster series – The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Revenge of the Sith and The Force Awakens.

He also served as an off-camera consultant on the final 2017 film in the series, The Last Jedi, helping to tutor his successor in the Chewbacca role on the ways of convincingly playing a Wookiee.

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