‘Star Wars’ actor Peter Mayhew dies at 74
Washington DC, [USA] May 3 (ANI): Actor Peter Mayhew, best known for his role as ‘Chewbacca’ in the Star Wars movie series, died at the age of 74.
According to Variety, the actor’s family announced the news on Twitter. They wrote, “He died at his North Texas home surrounded by his family” Chewbacca’s loyalty to Han Solo made him one of the most beloved characters.
Producer Charles H Schneer found Peter Mayhew in London where he was working as a hospital attendant. Schneer cast Mayhew in Ray Harryhausen’s “Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger.” Thereafter he was cast as Chewbacca, the 200-year-old Wookiee.
Mayhew also worked for “The Empire Strikes Back,” “Return of the Jedi,” “Revenge of the Sith,” “The Force Awakens” and “The Star Wars Holiday Special.”
At first, George Lucas preference was bodybuilder David Prowse to play Chewbacca, but Prowse decided to play Darth Vader instead and Lucas cast Mayhew.
He also made guest appearances on TV shows “Donny and Marie,” “The Muppet Show” and “Glee.”
When Mayhew was asked why Chewbacca didn’t get a medal at the end of the first “Star Wars” along with Solo and Skywalker, he said, “I think it was one of two reasons – one, they didn’t have enough money to buy me a medal. Or two, Carrie couldn’t reach my neck, and it was probably too expensive to build a little step so that I could step down or she could step up and give me the medal.”
Peter Mayhew also established a foundation ‘Peter Mayhew Foundation’ to provide funds to the needy.
Mayhew’s memorial service is on June 29.
There will also be another memorial service for Mayhew’s fans in early December at Los Angeles, EmpireCon. (ANI)