Peter Mayhew at the premiere of Solo in 2018.
Photo: Charley Gallay (Getty Images)

Peter Mayhew, the kind-hearted, lovable actor who brought Star Wars’ Chewbacca to life for almost 40 years, died this week at the age of 74.

Mayhew played the mighty Wookiee in all three of the original Star Wars films and partially reprised the role in 2015's The Force Awakens. His family announced the news on his Twitter.

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As lovable as everyone finds Chewbacca, Mayhew was that as a human being times 10. To fans, he was always the most kind and understanding person ever. Any time you saw him at a convention, he had a smile on his face and a big bear hug at the ready, if you so desired one. Even later in his life when mobility became a problem, Mayhew’s spirit could fill a room, just like his iconic character.

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Mayhew was the best of Star Wars and the best of fandom. A nonstop shining light of inspiration, passion, and positivity, which he made evident without us even seeing his face for almost four decades. If you’re a Star Wars fan like me, losing him feels like losing a family member.


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