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In Memoriam

Peter Mayhew, the soul of Chewbacca, has died at age 74.

Mr. Mayhew was born in Barnes, Surrey, England on May 19th, 1944.

In 1976 movie producers discovered him in a newspaper article about men with large feet and cast him in his first role ever as the minotaur in Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger.

When casting for Star Wars: A New Hope, George Lucas needed a tall actor to play the role of the loveable Chewbacca. Initially, he wanted David Prowse to play the role, but Prowse chose the part of Darth Vader instead. Lucas continued his search, discovering Peter Mayhew, who worked as a hospital orderly at the time. At the audition, Mr. Mahew stood to greet George Lucas when the director walked into the room. As he shook hands with the 7'3" Mayhew, he turned to producer Gary Kurtz and said, "I think we found him." The rest is Star Wars history.

Peter Mayhew played Chewy in five Star Wars films including, Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, and Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens. In Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi he was brought in as a Chewbacca consultant. Mr. Mayhew also played the role of Chewbacca on various television specials and shows, including Star Wars Holiday Special (1978), an appearance on The Muppet Show (1980), and recorded dialogue for the Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 3 finale episode Wookiee Hunt.

Mr. Mayhew also played the role in various commercials and made numerous hospital appearances for sick children. Appearing as Chewbacca, Peter Mayhew was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 1997 MTV Film Awards. He was additionally honored at the release of the new PlayStation Portable where he also appeared in costume.

Mr. Mahew wrote two books for younger readers: Growing Up Giant, which showed being different as a strength not a weakness and My Favorite Giant, an anti-bullying book.

He is survived by his wife, Angie, and his three children.

As a frequent guest of Dragon Con, Peter Mayhew's warm and gentle spirit was felt by anyone lucky enough to be in his presence. He will truly be missed.