On Tuesday, April 30th legendary Star Wars actor Peter Mayhew passed away in his home in Boyd, Texas after suffering a heart attack. Born in Barnes, Surrey England in 1944 Mayhew would have been 75 this coming May 19th. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Mary "Angie" Angelique Luker, whom he married in 1999.
Mayhew's most prominent role was that of Chewbacca, a role originally offered to David Prowse, in 1977's Star Wars (later renamed Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope). After Prowse chose to Darth Vader, Star Wars creator George Lucas wanted another tall actor to play Chewbacca, discovering 7 feet 3 inches tall Mayhew working as an orderly in the radiology department of King's College Hospital, London.
Following the success of Star Wars Mayhew returned to the role a further six times - in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, as well as in the 1982 mockumentary Return of the Ewok and for the motion simulator attraction Star Tours (filmed in 1987), with his final time starring as Chewbacca (shared with Joonas Suotamo) in 2015's Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Mayhew also continued supported Suotamo in Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi and Solo: A Star Wars Story as a consultant on the character. However, Mayhew's first role, though uncredited was in some of the live-action sequences featuring the giant bronze Minoton in 1977's Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger.
Mayhew has also appeared in Terror (1978), Comic Book: The Movie (2004), Yesterday was a Lie (2008), and Killer Ink(2016), while also provided the voice for Susha in the English Dub of Dragon Ball GT: A Heroe's Legacy (2004).
In addition to his role as everyone's favorite Wookie, Mayhew also wrote two books for younger audiences Growing up Giant and My Favorite Giant.