LOS ANGELES, Calif. (FOX 11) - Actor Peter Mayhew, who played the iconic character of Chewbacca in Star Wars, has died. He was 74 years old.
Mayhew's family members posted a statement on the actor's passing on his Twitter account.
"He fought his way back from being wheelchair-bound to stand tall and portray Chewbacca once more in Star Wars: The Force Awakens...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." read the statement.
Mayhew passed away on April 30, 2019 with his family by his side in his North Texas home, according to his family.
The beloved actor created the Peter Mayhew foundation supporting those in crisis situations.
The family of Peter Mayhew, with deep love and sadness, regrets to share the news that Peter has passed away. He left us the evening of April 30, 2019 with his family by his side in his North Texas home. pic.twitter.com/YZ5VLyuK0u— Peter Mayhew (@TheWookieeRoars) May 2, 2019
"He not only provided funds but became personally involved with each individual, family and cause he supported," read the statement.
There will be a memorial service for friends and family held on June 29, 2019, and in early December in Los Angeles, there will be a memorial set up for fans.
Mayhew is survived by his wife Angie and three children.
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 #RIPPeterMayhew #Heartbroken @TheWookieeRoars pic.twitter.com/8xbq9HEWF2— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) May 2, 2019
R.I.P 😔 pic.twitter.com/FWRgaOS0Tf— Joonas Suotamo (@JoonasSuotamo) May 2, 2019
💔I am so sorry to hear about Peter. We had so many fun and memorable tweets back and forth over the years plus seeing each other at a convention here and there. My deepest condolences to his family. He will be sorely missed! 😢 https://t.co/R3lAEvkQJc— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) May 2, 2019
Sad to hear of Peter Mayhew's passing. So long, Chewie, may the force be with you.— Elijah Wood (@elijahwood) May 2, 2019